The supreme court has backed the federal government on state funding of state judiciaries.
Four justices out of six on the panel ruled on Friday that it is not the role of the federal government to fund capital and recurrent expenditure of state judiciary.
The 36 states of the federation filed the lawsuit. The states argued that it was the duty of the federal government to bear the financial cost of running state high courts, sharia court of appeal and customary court of appeal. They stated that section 81(3) of the 1999 constitution shows whose is to fund courts.
“That item 21(e) of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution provides that the National Judicial Council (NJC) is to collect from the defendant and disburse all capital and recurrent expenditure in respect of all the courts established under Section 6 of the same Constitution,” the states had argued.
That Section 121(3) of the constitution makes provision for all capital and recurrent expenditures for courts not established under Section 6 of the constitution by the respective plaintiff’s states.”
Augustine Alegeh, who represented the states had said: “Our position is that funds meant for the judiciary should be taken from the consolidated revenue fund and handed to the NJC for disbursement to heads of courts as stipulated in section 6 of the constitution.”