Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has granted full financial autonomy to the Judiciary in the state.
The State Justice Commissioner, Mr Suleiman Usman, disclosed this in Sokoto on Saturday at a ministerial news briefing.
Usman said the governor has graciously approved the payment of budgetary allocations consisting of salaries, overheads and capital votes meant for the judiciary to the Heads of the Courts in the state.
”With this development, the state judiciary is now financially autonomous.
”Henceforth, budgetary allocations consisting of overhead, personnel cost and capital projects will be paid to the Chief Judge and Grand Khadi.
”This is in order to ensure compliance with the constitutional provisions contained in sections 81(3), 121(9), 1999 constitution as amended,” he said.
According to him, this is welcome development by granting this complete autonomy to the state’s judiciary.
” This means we will no longer go cap in hand begging for money when we want to work,” he added.
Usman noted that the impact of the financial autonomy on the operations of the judiciary cannot be overemphasised.
The commissioner added that Tambuwal has also approved the recruitment of 20 additional lawyers, to augment the existing 56 in the ministry.
In the same vein, efforts were being made to replace retired and dead state counsels as well as those who joined the federal judiciary.
Usman said it was lamentable that corruption has reached an alarming level in Nigeria.
The commissioner, who was commenting on the recent arrests of some Judges in the country, said that corruption has reached an endemic level in the country
According to him, as it relates to the judiciary, those in the judiciary are part of Nigeria.
”I support the fight against corruption, but it should be done within the ambit of the law
”Judges should not, however, use their personal knowledge to determine cases brought before them.
”Justice ought to be dispensed diligently, without fear or favour,’ Usman added.