Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Governments of 36 states of the federation have dragged the Federal Government to the Supreme Court challenging the Presidential Executive Order number 10 of 2020 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on the funding of the courts.
In the suit, the states argued that the president, by virtue of the Executive Order signed on May 20, had pushed the Federal Government’s responsibility of funding both capital and recurrent expenditures of state high courts, sharia court of appeals and customary courts of appeal to state governments.
They also prayed the court to hold that the Executive Order 10 was issued in clear violation of sections 6 and 8(3) of the 1999 Constitution which placed the responsibility of funding the listed courts on the shoulders of the Federal Government.
The 36 states, who filed the action through their respective attorneys general, also sought an order of the Supreme Court to quash the Executive Order for being unconstitutional.
The states further pressed for an order of the apex court to direct the Federal Government to make a refund to them for funding these projects The suit was filed on their behalf by a consortium of nine Senior Advocates of Nigeria, led by former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Augustine Alegeh (SAN). It listed the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) as the sole defendant.