Wike to Buhari: You can’t love state judges more than govs love them

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has described as “illegal and ill-advised” the Federal Government’s decision to deduct state funds on behalf of state judiciaries, under the purported Executive Order 10.

The governor said more problems would be created if the decision was implemented, and this would hamper the independence of the judiciary.

According to a statement by Kelvin Ebiri, his Special Adviser on Media, Wike stated this during a special court session organised to mark the opening of 2020/2021 legal year of the Rivers state judiciary in Port Harcourt on Friday.

He argued that the action of the Federal Government constituted yet another “clear breach of the constitutional powers of the governors to manage state resources in a federal system.

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According to him, the Federal Government cannot legitimately claim to be more interested in the progress of state judiciaries than the governors of the respective States, particularly Rivers State.

The governor stated that independence of the judiciary is not only about finances, but the ability of judicial officers to write judgments without the fear of being harassed by officers of the Department of State Services (DSS) or the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).

Wike said that while the issue of inadequate funding for the judiciary has been a recurrent challenge preventing the judiciary across the nation from enjoying practical autonomy and efficiency, the situation in Rivers State under his administration has been different.

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