The senate has asked governors of the 36 states to implement full autonomy for the judiciary, saying that such is non-negotiable.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Opeyemi Bamidele, made the demand while addressing journalists in Abuja, yesterday.
Bamidele said an independent judiciary was needed for true democracy in Nigeria, adding that no one stands to lose anything with such in place.
He, therefore, wondered why the governors were reluctant in endorsing the autonomy which had been approved by the National Assembly at the federal level.
“For me as a Nigerian, it is laughable that we still need at this point, to be grappling with the need to grand judiciary independence at whatever level be it at the federal, state and local government level. Our laws are very clear on this,” he said.
He said the National Assembly had guaranteed the independence of the judiciary at the federal level calling on state houses of assembly to do same.
“For the National Assembly, we have done the needful by making necessary laws that can guarantee independence of the judiciary at the federal level. So for us, it is not an issue because we have done the needful. What is left is for our state houses of assembly to also do what they are supposed to do. And that is why as a principle, as a policy, members of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters have tried not to call on those who are protesting to stop such protest.
“We do not want protest, but definitely we will rather talk more to our state governors, to our state houses of assembly and to the stakeholders that are supposed to do the needful to please do the needful in overriding public interest. We cannot continue to call on the judiciary to give peace a chance when we know the conditions under which they work cannot guarantee a passionate and enhanced delivery of justice. We must not be left behind by the rest of the civilised world. Nobody stands to lose anything by granting judiciary independence at the state level. It has been done at the national level.”