By Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja
In compliance with the fourth alteration to the 1999 Constitution, President Muhammadu Buhari has constituted a Presidential Implementation Committee on Autonomy of State Legislature and Judiciary.
Presidential spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, in a statement issued yesterday stated that the purpose of the committee was to drive the actualisation of the autonomy granted to the legislature and judiciary at the state level.
Names of members of the committee are: Nigeria’s Minister for Justice and Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami (SAN) (chairman); Presidential Liaison to the National Assembly, Senator Ita Enang; Chief Judge of Kogi State, Justice Nasiru Ajanah; Chief Judge of Bayelsa State, Justice Kate Abiri; Grand Khadi of the Gombe State Sharia Court of Appeal, Kadi Abdullahi Maikano Usman, and acting President of the FCT Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Abbazih Musa Abubakar Sadeeq.
Others are: Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria and Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, and Speaker of Taraba State House of Assembly, Hon. Abel Peter Riah; Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria is to be represented by Marwan Mustapha Adamu while Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria will be represented by Bala Hadi.
Still on the committee are representatives of Body of Chairmen of Houses of Assembly Service Commissions, Musa Mustapha Agwai; Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator David Umaru; House of Representatives Committee on Federal Judiciary, Hon. Aminu Shagari; the Accountant General of the Federation, and the Secretary of the National Judicial Council.
Others are: Director-General of the Nigerian Governors Forum or another representative as the forum may wish to nominate; Chairman of the Forum of State Finance Commissioners in Nigeria; President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Paul Usoro (SAN), and Chike Adibuah, representing Civil Society Organisations.
According to Adesina, terms of reference of the committee include “To assess and review the level of compliance by all the 36 states of the federation with Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended); to monitor, ensure and cause the implementation of financial autonomy across the judiciary and legislature of the 36 states; to consult and relate with the appropriate federal and state MDAs; to ensure and where necessary enforce the implementation of constitutional provision; and to come up with appropriate modality or model to be adopted by all the states of the federation for implementation and/or compliance with Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).”