By Usman Usman Garba
Amid agitations for judicial autonomy, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State 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 of 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 demand for autonomous judiciary.
“Whichever formula and procedure our forum, Nigerian Governors’ Forum came up with, I am ready to accept and work with it,” he assured.
He expressed satisfaction with the way they 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.”
He 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 which range from payments of many kinds to the sector, from personnel to infrastructural development.
Among them were 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, Barr. Aminu Sani Gadanya, after briefing the governor about the directive given to all branches across the country by the National President, commended the governor on behalf of all other members from both Kano and Ungogo branches 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 official letter from our national headquarters to you sir,” Barr. Gadanya said.
He also appreciated Governor Ganduje’s efforts in sponsoring members to Conference of Magistrates Association of Nigeria and sponsoring of other members to 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. Court of Appeal is 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 about the economic condition of the state. But at the same time Section 121 (3) provides for the financial autonomy of the judiciary.”