The Judiciary in Delta State has been granted financial autonomy by the State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, thereby ensuring the complete independence of the third arm of government.
Governor Uduaghan whose administration had ensured the Judiciary in the state run its capital budget independently on Wednesday gave legal backing to the practice by signing the Delta State Judiciary Financial Autonomy Bill into law.
Another bill on Delta State Model Primary Schools Bill 2014 was also assented to by the governor after they were presented to him by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Peter Onwusanya.
The new bills are for speedy disposition of justice, sustenance for continuity in the educational sector and for the guidance of local government elections.
Uduaghan, speaking on the relevance of the bills at the ceremony which was attended by principal officers of the Delta State House of Assembly, members of the Judicial arm of government and the State Executive Council, stated that his administration was giving legal backing to its programmes to ensure their sustenance.
He explained that the Judiciary financial autonomy bill besides guaranteeing the financially independence of the Judiciary would reduce industrial actions in that arm of government.
The Governor disclosed that funds to the Judiciary under the law are to be released quarterly based on revenue that actually accrued to the state.
He stated that the Model Primary Schools law was very important as sound education was very necessary for the youths of the state, adding , “government is about laws and what we are doing as a state is to ensure that those programmes that we have put in place are not jettisoned when we leave office.
“As much as possible, we are giving legal backing to our programmes,” Governor Uduaghan stated, noting that the law on Model Primary Schools was very important as the schools were designed to match the best in the world.
“We need to protect these schools to ensure that the standards were maintained, we need to provide quality education, use Montessori method of teaching at that level and promote the culture of discipline and hard work in our schools.”
Uduaghan disclosed that the model schools would not be supervised by the Ministry of Education but would be directly under the Governor’s office to ensure that the desired standards were maintained.
The Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Peter Onwusanya while presenting the Bills, informed the Governor that they passed through a rigorous process in the legislature and lauded the good working relationship between the three arms of government in the state.
Throwing more light on the new laws, the state Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Charles Ajuyah (SAN), in a press briefing in Asaba stated that the Delta Judiciary Financial Autonomy law was to make the Judiciary Arm of Government to be truly autonomous in accordance with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.
According to the Attorney General with the law coming to main stream, the judiciary has been put on first line charge, thereby making it truly independent and will speed up dispensation of justice in the State.
The AG who allayed the fears of misgivings to the effect that there is tendency of misappropriation of fund by the judiciary, posited that whatever is allocated to the judiciary will be subject to the availability of fund, and the respective judicial officers in charge will ensure probity, accountability and prudent management of such resources.
On the Delta State Model primary Schools law, Hon Ajuyah said that the law was enacted to create a culture in the State so that when the standard is met, by the seven model schools, others will follow, adding that as time goes on, others will be added to the schedule even as he stated that no pupil will be admitted midstream.
Speaking in the same vein, the Commissioner for Information, Chike Ogeah Esq., said that the purpose of the briefing is to highlight the importance of the laws to the press, charging journalists to educate and enlighten the public on the them and the inherent rights of citizens.