From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The National Assembly NASS has announced plans to enforce the contentious separation of powers among the three arms of government ahead of the 2023 general elections and change of government.
As a prelude to the proposed bill, the Judiciary arm will no longer submit its yearly budget proposal to the National Assembly through the Executive arm as has been the practice over the years.
In addition, the Judiciary will now have the opportunity of presenting its budget direct to the National Assembly as being done by the Executive arm through the Presidency.
The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary, Hon Luke Onofiok dropped the hint at the on-going Justice Sector Summit 2022 organized by the Nigerian Bar Association NBA along with some stakeholders in Abuja.
Onofiok represented the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Right Hon Femi Gbajabiamila as the Summit put together for fresh reform of Nigeria’s Judiciary.
The lawmaker said that the two Chambers of the National Assembly have agreed to make separation of powers absolute so as put a permanent end to the usual bickerings being occasioned as a result of overlapping functions among the three arms of government.
“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 to 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 have to submit its budget proposal to the National Assembly through another arm. It is an aberation and the new law will adequately take care of that before this government hands over power in 2023”.
Onofiok also revealed that the proposed bill will put to an end, incessant reckless intimidation of Judicial Officers by the security operatives.
The lawmaker, who recalled with regret what a Judge passed through by way of intimidation in Nasarawa state disclosed that the new Biill will give adequate protection to Judicial Officers in the country.