Governors of the 36 states of Nigeria have dragged President Muhammadu Buhari before the Supreme Court over a recent Executive Order on the funding of the Judiciary across the country.
President Buhari issued Executive Order No. 00-10 in May shifting the financial responsibilities of courts across the country to the State Governments. The state Governors are seeking a Judgement from the Supreme Court to quash the order which they say violates sections 6 and 8 (3) of the 1999 Constitution.
The sole respondent in the suit filed by Nine Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) on behalf of the Governors is the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN). The states explained to the Supreme Court that the Executive Order signed into law on May, 20, 2020 shifted the capital and recurrent Expenditure State High Courts, Sharia Court of Appeal and the Customary Court of Appeal to the State Governments.
The States also demanded for a refund of the funds used in capital projects in the listed courts since May 2009 by the Federal Government which refused to fund the courts.
According to the plaintiffs,
“Since the 5th of May 2009, the defendant had not funded the capital and recurrent expenditures of the state high courts, Sharia Court of Appeal and the Customary Court of Appeal of the plaintiffs’ states, apart from paying only the salaries of the judicial officers of the said courts.
“The plaintiffs’ states have been solely responsible for funding the capital and recurrent expenditures of the state high courts, Sharia Court of Appeal and the Customary Court of Appeal of the plaintiffs’ states, which the defendant has failed and/or refused to fund.”