Attorney-General of the Federation and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami (SAN) on Tuesday said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration will not go back with Executive Order 0010 which granted autonomy to state legislature and the Judiciary.
He said the Federal Government and the governors were jointly working on modalities for effective implementation of the order. The minister said an implementation committee will incorporate valuable submissions from the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and other stakeholders.
Malami said the Federal Government appreciated the fact that the governors agreed to the constitutionality of state Legislature and the Judiciary. He said the governors came out with the Executive order No-0010 in order to deepen democracy from grassroots and ensure effective implementation of the doctrine of separation of powers.
The minister made the clarifications in a statement in Abuja through his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu.
The clarifications followed the claims by the governors that President Buhari had halted action on the implementation of the autonomy.
But Malami said the Federal Government only wanted submissions from the governors and other stakeholders.
According to him, granting of autonomy to state legislature and the Judiciary is sacrosanct.
He said: “The re-enforcement of the constitutional provisions on the autonomy of the state legislature and Judiciary, as contained in Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, necessitated the Executive Order No 0010.”
The minister said the government noted “with appreciation that the governors of the 36 states of the federation have agreed to the constitutionality of the autonomy of the state legislature and the Judiciary”.
He noted that “the essence of the Order was to see to the implementation of the autonomy”.
The statement added: “While congratulating Nigerians on this landmark historic achievement geared towards engendering democratic principles at the grassroots, the minister for more inter-agency support for the Order, which he said will accelerate development Nigerian masses have been clamouring for.”
Shortly after an audience with the President on Monday, the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Dr. Kayode Fayemi said: “After listening to the concerns of the governors about the constitutionality of the Executive Order, President Buhari agreed to delay the gazetting.
“We have a delegation of the governors’ forum here to discuss some matters of fundamental importance to the nation and the President has asked that we meet with the AGF, the Chief of Staff and the Minister of Finance, National Planning and Budget on the issue.
“It is an issue that has seized the interest of many of you in the media and a lot of people across the federation. It is about the autonomy of the state legislature and the Judiciary. We’ve met with the President before now on it and the President was very pleased that for us as governors, we are all united in support of the autonomy of state Judiciary and the legislature; that’s the position of the 36 governors of the federation…”