The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says it supports total compliance with the Constitutional provisions on Autonomy for States’ Judiciary and Legislature in the country.
Mr Ayuba Wabba, NLC President expressed the congress’ support in a statement on Monday, June 1, in Abuja; while commending Executive Order 10 issued on May 22, by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to Wabba, the Executive Order 10 primed at promoting Section 121 (3) of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution is a step forward towards deepening the democratic process and good governance in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The Executive Order 10 makes it mandatory for state governments to include the allocation of the judiciary and legislative arms of government; as first-line charges in their annual budgets,” he said.
He, therefore, said that the history of arm-twisting and abuse of the judiciary and legislative arms of government at the sub-national level in Nigeria was a long one; adding that this had only gotten worse in recent years.
Wabba said the legendary distortion of due process; checks and balances; and public accountability, were the core ingredients in the principle of separation of powers.
He said that this got to a head when legislators in some of the State Houses of Assembly rejected constitutional proposals to grant them financial autonomy during the constitutional review process led by the 7th National Assembly.
The NLC president noted that the asphyxiation of the legislative and judiciary arms of government at the state level; and the increasing concentration of powers in the hands of the executive arm of government should be of great concern to every Nigerian.
“According to the French philosopher, Baron de Montesquieu; the fundamental aim of the principle of separation of powers is to ensure that no arm of government usurps total power.
“This is what Section 121 (3) of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution seeks to promote.
“The last constitution amendment led by the 8th National Assembly and assented into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 8, 2018, seeks to put an end to executive meddlesomeness at the state level.
“We need to emphasise the point that strong legislative and judiciary institutions of government are the strong pillars of democracy and good governance,” Wabba said.
He said that a resilient judiciary and a conscientious legislature were therefore sine qua non to the deepening of the democratic process, promotion of public accountability, and ensuring popular participation.
Wabba, however, said that it was pertinent to note that it was the collective duty of the political leaders at all levels to uphold, promote and sustain the virility of the public institutions especially the legislative and judiciary arms of government.