Amid agitations for judicial autonomy, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has promised to accept and work with any decision reached by the Nigerian Governors’ Forum on the matter.
He made the promise when joint leaders from Kano and Ungogo branches of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) paid him a courtesy call, at his office, Tuesday, on the directive of the National President of the Association, to press the demand for the autonomous judiciary.
Ganduje assuring said, “Whichever formula and procedure our Forum, Nigerian Governors’ Forum comes up with, I am ready to accept and work with it.
He expressed satisfaction with the way the Association conducted themselves in pressing their demands, saying, “I am pleased with the way you conducted yourself in pressing your demands. This shows you are learned.”
The Governor further argued that there is no doubt about the dire need for separation of powers, especially in the presidential system of government, adding that, “In Kano, we are doing our best and we will continue doing that.”
He listed many things his administration did to the judiciary in the state. Ranging from payments of many kinds to the sector, from personnel to infrastructural developments.
Amongst them was the establishment of the Court of Appeal “…which we spent hundreds of millions of naira and we also paid the rent for their staff accommodation for two years and we furnished them very well. I am happy you mentioned some of those feats we achieved.”
In his remarks, the Kano branch Chairman of NBA, Barrister Aminu Sani Gadanya, after briefing the Governor about the directives given to all branches across the country by the National President of the Association, commended the Governor on behalf of all other members from both Kano and Ungogo branch for the good work to the judiciary.
“We are here on the directive given to us by the National President of our Association, to pay courtesy visits to our governors in all state branches. We are also presenting an official letter from our national headquarters to you Sir,” Barrister Gadanya said.
He also appreciated Governor Ganduje’s efforts in sponsoring members to the Conference of Magistrates Association of Nigeria and sponsoring other members to the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting organised by NBA.
“We are aware of your efforts in renovating our courts; you did well in the appointment of Khadis and Judges, all during your tenure. The Court of Appeal was established during your administration.
“Before it, we used to take our cases to Kaduna but with the establishment of another Court of Appeal here in Kano, we found it extremely important and timely,” he commended.
They also reminded the Governor that judicial autonomy could only be achieved through financial autonomy, hinting that, “We are fully aware of the economic condition of the state but at the same time Section 121 (3) provides for the financial autonomy of the judiciary.