The Judicial arm of government will henceforth pass its budget directly to the National Assembly.
In a recent publication made by Blueprint, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary, Hon Luke Onofiok, dropped the hint at the just concluded Justice Sector Summit 2022 organised by the Nigerian Bar Association NBA along with some stakeholders in Abuja.
By the new enforcement, it is expected that the contentious issue of separation of powers among the three arms of government in Nigeria would have been addressed.
Consequently, Nigeria’s Judiciary arm will no longer submit its yearly budget proposal to the National Assembly through the Executive arm as has been the practice over the years.
Under a new Bill in the offing, Judiciary will now have the opportunity of presenting its budget direct to the National Assembly as being done by the Executive arm through the Presidency.
Onofiok who represented the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Right Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, at the summit added that the two Chambers of the National Assembly have agreed to make separation of powers absolute, noting that it shall put a permanent end to the usual bickerings being occasioned as a result of overlapping of functions among the three arms of government.
“As part of our bold efforts in the National Assembly to eradicate bickerings arising from overlapping functions, the two Chambers will soon pass a Bill that would make the Judiciary to submit its yearly budget direct to the National Assembly instead of the current practice system of channelling it through the Executive arm.
“If we are talking of separation of powers among the three arms of government as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution, it has to be absolute, it has to be total for the aims and objectives to be achieved even though we will still collaborate with one another.
“How can the Judiciary be said to be independent when the arm still have to submit its budget proposal to the National Assembly through another arm. It is an aberation and the new law will adequately take care of that before this government hands over power in 2023,” he said.
Onofiok also revealed that the proposed bill will put to an end, incessant reckless intimidation of Judicial Officers by the security operatives.
The lawmaker, who expressed regrets the intimidation a Judge in Nasarawa state passed through disclosed that the new Biill will give adequate protection to Judicial Officers in the country.