Members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ilorin branch, on 21st of April, 2021 staged a peaceful protest in Ilorin, kwara state capital in support of demand for Judiciary financial autonomy.
The protesters who carried placards with various inscriptions stormed the Government House at Ahmadu Bello Way, G.R.A, Ilorin apparently to submit a letter to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on the need for a full implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary in the state.
Chairman, Ilorin branch of the NBA, AbdulGaniyu Bello, who led his members on the peaceful protest, decried the attitude of Governors to the financial autonomy for the judiciary in their respective states.
Bello urged the governors to respect the rule of law and give effect to the independence of the judiciary financially to be able to perform without hindrance.
Explaining that the 2014 court verdict had settled the controversy over the financial autonomy for the judiciary, the NBA chairman noted that democracy would thrive only when there is strict adherence to the rule of law.
He maintained that the industrial action of the members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) had stalled court proceedings nationwide with its attendant adverse effects on members of the bench and the bar.
Bello said, “We are here in compliance with the directive of the National Secretariat as given by the National President, Mr Olumide Akpata, on the need for the government to give effect to the financial autonomy for our judiciary. That is why we are here to call on the Governor to obey the rule of law.
“It is stated in our Constitution, if you look at Section 121. It says that all funding shall be handed over to the heads of the judiciary in various states. So, we want to call on the Governors to obey the rule of law. If the rule of law is obeyed, democracy will strive well. That is why we are here to register our support to JUSUN.
“The strike embarked upon by JUSUN has affected court proceedings, and you can see a lot of things happening to people. If you want to assert your right, you go to the court. As it is now, courts are closed. We want to call on the governments to act on this so that we will all have a free society as required”, he said.