Judiciary, Assembly Autonomy Bill Scales Second Reading

A Bill to grant financial autonomy to states’ Houses of Assembly and the Judiciary has passed second reading in the House of Representatives.

Sponsored by the member representing Afikpo North/Afikpo South of Ebonyi State, Iduma Igariwey, the Bill seeks to end the practice of states appropriating for the two arms from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Igariwey said the situation has adversely affected the independence of the legislature and the judiciary as they are often starved of funds by governors.

The lawmaker argued that though President Muhammadu Buhari had signed Executive Order 10 that grants the two arms a measure of autonomy, the Order lacked constitutional backing.

Igariwey proposed an alteration of Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution to charge any amount standing in the credit of the Houses of Assembly and the Judiciary directly from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation to be paid directly to the heads by the Accountant General of the Federation.

When Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila put the matter to a voice vote, it was unanimously adopted and passed second reading.

Gbajabiamila directed that the Bill be referred to the House Committee on Constitution Review.

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