The National Assembly said that the contentious separation of powers among the three arms of government in Nigeria would be totally enforced ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The legislature said that as a starting point, the Judiciary in Nigeria would no longer submit its yearly budget proposal to the lawmakers through the executive arm as has been the practice over the years.
Under a new Bill the Judiciary would now have the opportunity of presenting its budget directly to the National Assembly as being done by the executive arm through the Presidency.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, represented by the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary, Luke Onofiok, said these at the on-going Justice Sector Summit 2022 organized by the Nigerian Bar Association along with some stakeholders which continued in Abuja on Wednesday.
The summit was 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 bickering being occasioned as a result of overlapping functions among the three arms of government.
He said, “As part of our bold efforts in the National Assembly to eradicate bickering 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 aberration and the new law will adequately take care of that before this government hands over power in 2023.”
Onofiok also said that the proposed Bill would 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 Bill will give adequate protection to Judicial Officers in the country.