The National Assembly has said that the judiciary will now present its budget directly to NASS under a new bill to enforce the separation of powers among the three arms of government.
This was made known by the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary, Hon Luke Onofiok who represented the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, at the ongoing Justice Sector Summit 2022 organized by the Nigerian Bar Association along with some stakeholders in Abuja.
This means that the judiciary will no longer submit its yearly budget proposal to the National Assembly through the Executive arm as has been the practice over the years.
What the Speaker is saying about separation of powers
Still speaking on behalf of Honourable Gbajabiamila, Mr Onofiok said the two chambers of the National Assembly have agreed to make separation of powers absolute ahead of the 2023 general election.
He hinted that a new Bill is in view which will enable the Judiciary to present its own budget directly to the National Assembly just like the Executive arm.
He noted that the new bill will give protection to judicial officers in the country and put an end to incessant intimidation of judicial officers by the security operatives.
“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 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 has to submit its budget proposal to the National Assembly through another arm. It is an aberration and the new law will adequately take care of that before this government hands over power in 2023,” Mr Onofiok said.