Anambra NBA Branches Take Protest Over Non-Implementation of Financial Autonomy To Obiano’s Office

Awka – Members of the eight branches of theAnambra State Chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, on Monday staged a protest at the Government House, Awka over the non-implementation of financial autonomy of the state judiciary.

The protesting lawyers, are also worried that despite the concerns they had raised earlier in April, about the ongoing strike by Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, the state governor, Willie Obiano is yet to respond in any manner to the issue.

The protesters bore placards with inscriptions such as “Gov Obiano please implement the constitutional provisions on financial autonomy and independence of the judiciary”, “Anambra State branches of NBA demand financial autonomy and independence of the judiciary,” among others and blocked the entrance of the State Government House.

Speaking on behalf of all the branch chairmen, the Nnewi NBA Branch Chairman and Chairman, Committee of Chairmen, NBA branches in the state, Kingsley Awuka said they were at the Government House to submit a letter from the NBA national office, over the JUSUN strike and the state government’s ‘historical non-compliance with the  Provisions of Section 121(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which guarantees financial autonomy for the state judiciary.

“The Judiciary is an independent arm of government under our constitution, saddled with the responsibility of administration of justice. Where that independence is lacking or is by any means shortchanged, the implications for the socio-economic fortunes of the state, can be better imagined.

“JUSUN’s demand for judicial autonomy, which the NBA unequivocally supports, is in the best interest of the judiciary and the society, as it is one of the key parameters for enthroning independence of the judiciary and fostering democracy.

“It is reprehensible that despite all the interventions of relevant stakeholders towards enforcing these constitutional provisions, Anambra State has continued in the undemocratic practice of micromanaging the funds due to the Judiciary with gross impunity and in the breach of the Oath of Office which requires the governor to uphold the dictates of the Constitution,” he said.

Awuka noted that the continued dependence of the judiciary on the executive arm of government, has manifested in poor judicial infrastructure, low morale among judicial workers, alleged corruption in the Judiciary, delay in the administration of justice and declining confidence of the masses in the Judiciary.

He explained that the protest is get the state government to commit to the rule of law and due process, warning that if government fails to harken to their demands, they may be forced to mobilize other stakeholders including the Civil Society Organisations, to sustain the protest.


Addressing the protesters, the Secretary to the State Government, Prof Solo Chukwulobelu, said the state government is already working to resolve the issue.

Chukwulobelu said the present state administration had commenced negotiations with the previous leadership of the Judiciary on what will go to them, based on what comes into the coffers of the state.

He said it is imperative that citizens understand that what the state budgets differs from what comes into the state coffers.

“A good understanding of this will guide workers in the state while making demands from the state government. What we do in budgeting is to project based on indices on ground. However, these things vary and like what was witnessed in the country- an economic downturn, what the state gets now is far lower than what was budgeted. So, it is important that you acquaint yourselves with these things so that you won’t be demanding what the state may not afford,” he said.

Recaal that JUSUN about a month ago declared an indefinite nationwide strike, to press home their demand for financial autonomy of the judiciary.


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