NBA to Okowa: ‘When will full payment of all IGR back to the Judiciary commence?

Chairmen of all branches of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Delta State, on Tuesday, asked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to tell them when full payment of all internally generated revenue (IGR) by the Judiciary back to the Judiciary would commence.

The group of lawyers also requested to know the modalities for computing the figures, calling on Okowa to urgently address the issues with the leadership of the various branches of the NBA in the state.

Chairman of NBA branch, Warri and chairman of the Forum of NBA Chairmen of Delta State, Chief Emmanuel Uti, gave the posers on behalf of his colleagues in a statement signed by all the branch chairmen and made available to journalists in Warri.

According to him, “these queries (to Okowa) are understandable in the light of the presence of many judiciary facilities in a deplorable state in some parts of Delta State.”

He frowned at “media reports to the effect that some committees had been set up by the State Chief Judge to implement the provisions of the Delta State Judiciary Funds Management Law, 2019” without consulting the NBA.

“While we commend the State Government and State Chief Judge for the above welcome measures, we reiterate that the prime directive remains that all funds accruable to the Judiciary should be deducted at source and fully made available to the Judiciary as a first-line charge on the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the State.

“As critical stakeholders in the struggle for the enthronement and full implementation of financial autonomy for the State Judiciary, we feel it is important at this juncture to express our misgivings as to the speedy set up of the Committees without any recourse to the leadership of the NBA, or the legal community in Delta State.

“It is our firm belief that the NBA in Delta State ought to be carried along in the process of constituting those Committees, this is especially as the eyes of the whole country are upon us all, considering the weighty nature of the demands that led to the strike in the first place.

“More so, being a part of the process would have enabled us to properly brief our members on the efforts being put in place with regards the issues at stake, as well as prepare a proper report to be transmitted to the national leadership of the NBA, a critical stakeholder in the struggle for Judicial Autonomy,” the statement further read.

The group, however, reiterated its support for the ongoing industrial action by members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), urging them “to keep faith with the struggle and eschew divide and conquer tactics that would lay.”

 

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