GOVERNORS of Nigeria’s 36 states have dragged President Muhammadu Buhari to the Supreme Court challenging a presidential executive order signed in May which places the burden of funding courts on them.
According to the governors, the executive order President Buhari signed had pushed the federal government’s responsibility of funding both the capital and recurrent expenditures of the state high courts, Sharia Courts of Appeal and the Customary Court of Appeal, to state governments. They equally argued that except paying the salaries of judicial officers of the above-mentioned courts, President Buhari had since May 5 2019, abandoned his responsibility of funding the capital and recurrent expenditure of the respective courts.
Their suit read: “Since the 5th of May 2019, the defendant had not funded the capital and recurrent expenditures of the state high courts, Sharia Court of Appeal and the Customary Court of Appeal of the plaintiffs’ states, apart from paying only the salaries of the judicial officers of the said courts. The plaintiffs’ states have been solely responsible for funding the capital and recurrent expenditures of the state high courts, Sharia Court of Appeal and the Customary Court of Appeal of the plaintiffs’ states, which the defendant has failed and/or refused to fund.”
This suit has been filed despite Nigeria’s states calling for more autonomy from the federal government and demanding fiscal federalism. Many states have asked for a return to the 1958 Lancaster House Agreement upon which Nigeria was founded, whereby the federating units were responsible for all expenditure within their domains.