The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has faulted the Federal Government’s decision to deduct state funds on behalf of state judiciaries, saying that it’s illegal and would hamper the independence of the judiciary if implemented.
Wike stated this during a special court session organized to mark the opening of the 2020/2021 legal year of the Rivers state judiciary in Port Harcourt on Friday.
According to a statement signed by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Governor, Kelvin Ebiri, on Friday, the Rivers State Governor argued that the action of the Federal Government constituted yet another clear breach of the constitutional powers of the Governors to manage State resources in a federal system.
Wike emphasized that the Federal Government cannot legitimately claim to be more interested in the progress of state judiciaries than the governors of the respective states.
He said, “The Federal Government cannot legitimately claim to be more interested in the progress of State judiciaries than the Governors of the respective States; particularly, Rivers State.”
He revealed that the independence of the judiciary was not only about finances, but the ability of the judicial officers to write judgments without the fear of being harassed by officers of the Department of State Services or the Economic and Financial Crime Commission.
Wike wondered why the NBA that was yet to make a formal submission to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the State to probe the atrocities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, would without any evidence allege extrajudicial killings in Oyigbo.