36 states challenge Buhari’s Executive Order on funding of courts

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The attorney generals of the 36 states of the federation have approached the supreme court to challenge the legality of the Presidential Executive Order No. 00-10 of 2020 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on the funding of the courts.

They jointly prayed the apex court to quash the Executive order on the ground of its unconstitutionality.

Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation is the sole respondent in the suit.

Represented by nine Senior Advocates of Nigeria, led by a former President of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Augustine Alegeh, SAN and six other lawyers, the 36 states explained that Buhari, by virtue of the Executive Order he signed on May 20, 2020, had pushed the Federal Government’s responsibility of funding both the capital and recurrent expenditures of the state high courts, Sharia Court of Appeal and the Customary Court of Appeal, to the state governments.

They contended that Buhari’s Executive Order No. 00-10 of 2020 was a clear violation of sections 6 and 8 (3) of the 1999 Constitution, which make it the responsibility of the Federal Government to fund the listed courts.

The 36 states, which said they had been funding the capital projects in the listed courts since 2009, are also praying the Supreme Court to order the Federal Government to make a refund to them.

“Since the 5th of May 2009, 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,” they said.

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