Supreme Court Reserves Judgment In Suit Challenging Executive Order 10

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The Supreme Court on Monday reserved judgment in the suit filed by the 36 states challenging the legality of the Presidential Executive Order 10, 2020.

President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Executive Order 10 on May 22 last year.

The order made it mandatory for all states to include allocations of both the legislature and the judiciary in their Appropriation Laws.

A seven-man panel of the Supreme Court led by Justice Musa Datijo reserved the judgment after listening to arguments canvassed by all the parties.

The states had through their attorneys-general in a suit marked SC/655/2020 posed two questions for the Supreme Court to determine.

These are – Whether having regards to the provisions of Section 6 and 81(3) of the Constitution read together with item 121(3) of the third schedule, the defendant is not constitutionally obligated and or charged with the responsibility for funding all capital and recurrent expenditure of the High Courts, Sharia Courts of Appeal and Customary Courts of Appeal at the states of the Federation being courts created under Section 6 of the constitution.

-Whether considering provisions of Section 6, 80, 81, 120, and 121 whether the Presidential Executive order number 10 of 2020 made by the president on May 22, 2020, to compel the plaintiffs to fund State High Courts, States Sharia Courts of Appeal and Customary Courts of Appeal in violation of the Constitutional provisions vesting responsibility for funding the said courts on the federal government is not unconstitutional and unlawful.

At Monday proceedings, counsel to the plaintiffs, Augustine Alegeh (SAN), argued that salaries, emoluments, remuneration, and allowances of judges were not supposed to be in any appropriation bill.

He submitted that under Section 84(4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), funds for such expenditure were charged and captured in the consolidated revenue fund, not in the budget.

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