The Supreme Court has declared as unlawful and unconstitutional, Executive Order 10 of President Muhammadu Buhari aimed at granting autonomy to the judicial and legislative arms of government at the state level.
Six out of the seven judges of the apex court stated that the president went beyond his constitutional powers in issuing the EO10 on funding of state judiciaries and legislative arms. The court, therefore, nullified the order and set it aside.
The EO10 was signed into law in May 2020, with the President instituting a committee to ensure the implementation of financial autonomy for the State Legislature and State Judiciary.
Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice of Nigeria, Malami Abubakar said: “The President signed Executive Order number 10 into law based on the power vested in him as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under Section 5 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended), which extends to the execution and maintenance of the Constitution, laws made by the National Assembly (including but not limited to Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which guarantee financial autonomy of the State Legislature and State Judiciary.”
The EO10 also provides among others that the Accountant-General of the Federation shall authorize the deduction of money allocated to any state that fails to release allocation meant for the State Legislature and Judiciary, in line with the financial autonomy guaranteed by Section 121(3) of the Constitution.
However, this was rejected by the state governors who challenged the EO10 at the apex court.