Federal Govt Can Withhold States Funds – Malami

Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has defended President Muhammadu Buhari’s executive order granting financial autonomy to states’ judiciary and legislature.

He warned that States that refuse to comply with certain Executive Orders may have their funds withheld.

The President had signed the financial autonomy for the states’ judiciary and legislature, code-named the Executive Order 10, 2020.

Malami said the assent was aimed at complementing existing legislation, enhancing operation and enforcing legal provisions.

Malami spoke on Thursday at Radio Nigeria programme, Politics Nationwide.

The AGF said it was also to ensure inter-agency coordination in the process of implementation.

He cited Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which established the autonomy.

The minister said if the federal government “wants to withhold the resources of a State Government that refuses to comply with the constitutional provision relating to the autonomy of State Legislatures and Judiciary”, it would contact the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation”.

He added that if the government wants the state legislature to be part of the process relating to appropriation, “agreement must be reached on the need for the state legislature to be alive to their responsibility”.

Malami said the Executive Order No. 10 was also intended to achieve supervisory role and ensure proper supervision desired for the purpose of enforcement and application of the autonomy granted States legislature and judiciary.

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