A civil society organisation, the Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network on Tuesday called on the United States, United Kingdom and Canadian to impose visa ban on 34 state governors, their families, and their Attorney-Generals over their refusal to observe the constitutional provision on the funding of the judiciary.
The organisation in a letter to the US Ambassador, British and Canada Higher Commissioners in Nigeria, said the continued lockdown of courts as a result of the governors’ refusal to observe the financial autonomy of the judiciary had constituted a grave assault on the Nigerian Constitution.
The letter titled ‘Appeal for your intervention and urgent need to impose visa ban on the 34 state governors, their families and the 34 Attorney-Generals of the respective states of Nigeria’, dated May 4, 2021, was signed by Olu Omotayo and Dr. Danjuma Gambo, President and member, National Advisory Council for the group.
The Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria had on April 6 embarked on nationwide strike to protest against the non-implementation of financial autonomy of the Judiciary by 36 state governors.
But CRRAN in the letter, enjoined the US, UK and Canada governments not to see the strike as a mere strike of court officials/workers in Nigeria, but look at it from the point of the insistence by respective state governors except the Lagos and Rivers, that Judiciary, the third arm of government should never be independent.
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The letter partly read, “The clear provision of Section 81 and Section 121, of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended) provides the mode for the funding of INEC, the Legislature and the Judiciary.
“How do you guarantee independence and impartiality of a judiciary when the chief judges are always on their knees begging the governors for fund in order to maintain a supposed sacred institution?
“We also urge you to immediately impose visa ban on the 34 state governors in Nigeria and their families; and also the 34 Attorney-Generals of the respective states of Nigeria and their families.”