The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Friday rejected the Federal Government’s decision to deduct funds accrued to the states on behalf of state judiciaries.
Wike, according to a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, stated this during a special court session organised to mark the opening of the 2020/2021 legal year for the state’s judiciary.
He described the move as illegal, saying it would hamper the independence of the judiciary if implemented.
Wike insisted that the Federal Government’s action was another clear breach of the constitutional powers of the governors to manage state resources in a federal system.
According to him, the independence of the judiciary was not only about finances, but the ability of the judicial officers to write judgments without the fear of being harassed by officers of the Department of State Services (DSS) or the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).
The governor said: “The Federal Government cannot legitimately claim to be more interested in the progress of state judiciaries than the Governors of the respective states; particularly, Rivers State.”