The State House of Assembly has passed the Judiciary Funds Management Bill 2021 as well as the Legislature Funds Management Bill 2021 into law.
The two Bills were passed during plenary sequel to the the presentation of the reports of the two Adhoc Committees earlier set up by the House to carry out indepth appraisals of the bills.
In her report the Chairman of the Adhoc Committees on the State Judiciary Funds Management Bill 2021, and Sponsor of the Bill, Rt. Hon. Itam Abang (Boki I) Stated that the Bill seeks to provide for the Management of funds that would be accruing to the State Judiciary under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As amended).
She added that the Bill will ensure that such funds will be paid into a single dedicated account of the Judiciary while no monies shall be withdrawn except as authorized by law.
Abang, while reiterating the significance of the Bill, recalled the recently suspended Nationwide Industrial Action embarked upon by the Judiciary Workers to press home their demand for financial autonomy of the Judicial Arm of Government which, though provided for in the Constitution has not been operational.
The Lawmaker further lamented that the Judicial system is currently wroth with; “unnecessary delays, time consuming and energy sapping, making justice administration and access to genuine judgement very frustrating to the ordinary man”.
“According to her; “if the Judiciary must remain the last hope of the common Man, vis a vis quick dispensation of quality judgement, then the independence of the Judiciary must be enhanced and financial Autonomy becomes imperative”.
Similarly, the Sponsor of the Legislature Funds Management Bill and Chairman of the Adhoc Committee, Rt. Hon. Hillary Bisong (Boki II) in his report stated that the; “State Assembly on Monday, 19th February, 2015 joined it’s counterparts across the country and voted to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) to provide for the funding of State Houses of Assembly directly from the Consolidated Revenue Funds”. He added that the constitution was amended accordingly.
According to him, “the above constitutional provision was given a boost by President Muhammadu Buhari GCON when he signed Executive Order 10 of 2020 granting financial autonomy to the Legislature and the Judicial arms of Government”.
While deliberating on the two bills, the Legislators observed that the financial autonomy of both the Legislature and Judiciary will greatly enhance the performance of these two Arms of Government.
On his part, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Eteng Jonah Williams (Yakurr II) expressed satisfaction and happiness that the Bill were passed during his time. He reiterated that the passage of the bills was a landmark achievement for the 9th Assembly.
Williams further expressed appreciation to the Members as well as Staff for working hand to ensure the passage of the bill while directing the Clerk Barr Bassey Ekpeyong to forward clean copies to the State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade for his assent.
CRSHA passes bill for administration of offices of state auditor-gen, auditor gen for LGAs
The Cross River State House of Assembly has passed a bill to provide for the administration of the office of the state auditor general and that of the auditor general for local governments.
The objectives of the law are, amongst others, to give effect to the provisions of the constitution establishing and assigning supreme audit functions to a state auditor general and the state laws establishing the office of the auditor general for local governments.
The law will also assist and protect the auditors-general in order to ensure their independence, impartiality, dignity and effectiveness.
The house had earlier disolved into the committee of the whole to delibrate on the bill after which the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Eteng Jonah Williams directed the clerk, Barr. Bassey Ekpenyong to read the bill a third time and passed it to law.
By Itam Offor