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NBA insists governors respect judicial autonomy

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ado Ekiti branch has insisted that the 36 state governors must respect the provisions of the 1999 Constitution on the contending issue of full autonomy for the judiciary.

The legal body regretted that the closure of courts across the country had not only debased the country’s democracy, but adversely affected the fortunes of the legal practitioners, urging the governors to swiftly accede to the request of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) to resolve the conundrum.

The NBA also urged the Federal Government to convene a roundtable discussion, where all stakeholders could meet, ruminate and proffer solutions to the senseless killings and kidnappings of innocent Nigerians.

Adeyemi Adewumi, chairman, NBA Ado Ekiti branch, at a news conference in Ado Ekiti to herald the 10th annual law week in honour of a legal icon, Afe Babalola (SAN) decried the shutting of courts and its effects on justice administration.

Adewumi, who gave the theme of this year’s law week as: “The 21st-century lawyer: integrating business skills with legal knowledge”, said the financial independence of the judiciary must be respected.

“To attain true separation of powers, the other arms of government; judiciary and legislature must be weaned from the breast of the executive, that is, become independent in all wise, particularly financially.

“This is the only way public perception can become re-engineered towards trust for the judiciary and the legislature.

“Section 81 (1) and 123 of the 1999 Constitution as Amended, guarantees financial autonomy to the judiciary.

“Meanwhile, following the refusal of the government to implement this autonomy, JUSUN and Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) had sued the government in two different cases at the Federal High Court, where both cases were won.

On spate of insecurity in the country, Adewumi said Nigerians and recognised groups should be bold enough to demand for justice for those whose lives were being wasted like they did during the protests against the scrapped Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).

He added: “We are just praying that something would happen that will stop these senseless killings.

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