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Bayelsa governor canvasses financial autonomy for judiciary

Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, has stressed the need for fiscal autonomy for the judicial arm of government just as it is for the executive and legislature.

Making the call at a dinner in honour of visiting chief judges from the South-South region in Government House, Yenagoa, on Tuesday, Diri said it is necessary and important for democracy to thrive in Nigeria.

A Government House statement signed by acting chief press secretary, Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as saying the call became imperative due to the important role of the judiciary in building a virile society.

“For the judicial arm to play its constitutional role as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, it must enjoy fiscal autonomy,” the governor said.

“I do not see why the judiciary should not enjoy autonomy. I will continue to be an advocate in ensuring that there is fiscal autonomy of the judiciary as enshrined in the Constitution.

“As a product of the judiciary that is noted for honesty, steadfastness and uprightness, if there are no upright judges, I won’t be here as governor of Bayelsa State,” he said.

The governor enjoined the judges to uphold the tenets of their profession, stressing the central role of the judiciary in the survival of democracy in the country.

According to him, just as without the legislature there will be military government, the absence of the judiciary will result in anarchy. He said going forward, Nigeria does not need either military government or anarchy.

In her remarks, Bayelsa State Chief Judge, Kate Abiri, said she was delighted when the governor insisted on hosting the visiting chief judges on such short notice.

Abiri lauded Diri and his predecessors for their development efforts, which transformed the state and appealed to the governor to carry on with his advocacy for the autonomy of the judiciary as it will strengthen democracy.

Chief Judge of Rivers State, Adama Lamikanra, also thanked the governor for hosting them and for his positive disposition towards the judiciary.

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