The 36 states government have approached the Supreme Court with a suit challenging the Presidential Executive Order 10 of 2020 which President Muhammadu Buhari signed in May on the funding of the courts.
In the suit which has the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice as the sole respondent and filed through their respective attorneys general, the states want an order of the Supreme Court quashing President Buhari’s Executive Order for being unconstitutional.
The plaintiffs explained that by virtue of the Executive Order the president signed on May 20, 2020, he had pushed the Federal Government’s responsibility of funding both the capital and recurrent expenditures of the state high courts, Sharia Court of Appeal and the Customary Court of Appeal to the state governments.
They contended that Buhari’s Executive Order 10 of was a clear violation of sections 6 and 8(3) of the 1999 Constitution which make it the responsibility of the Federal Government to fund the listed courts.
The 36 states, which said they had been funding the capital projects in the listed courts since 2009, are also praying the Supreme Court to order the Federal Government to make a refund to them.
“Since the 5th of May 2009, the defendant had not funded the capital and recurrent expenditures of the state high courts, Sharia Court of Appeal and the Customary Court of Appeal of the plaintiffs’ states, apart from paying only the salaries of the judicial officers of the said courts.
“The plaintiffs’ states have been solely responsible for funding the capital and recurrent expenditures of the state high courts, Sharia Court of Appeal and the Customary Court of Appeal of the plaintiffs’ states, which the defendant has failed and/or refused to fund,” they said.
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