Law News
Judiciary funds not with FG, says AGF
Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Jonah Otunla

The Federal Government on Tuesday faulted allegations by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria that it did not comply with the judgement which barred the executive from holding on to judiciary funds.

The judiciary workers had on Monday embarked on an indefinite strike to protest the non-compliance of state governments with the court order on financial autonomy for the judiciary.

The court order was granted by Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja on January 13, 2014.

The strike had paralysed activities at the courts across the country as litigants and lawyers were denied access to the premises.

But reacting to the allegation of not complying with the court order, the Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Jonah Otunla, said during an interview with journalists in Abuja, that the Federal Government had always ensured compliance.

He said, “The first impression I should correct is that the Office of the Accountant-General was never a party to that litigation. But without any prejudice to that and also reminding you that the Federal Government has been acting consequently with what it should do.

“We have always been giving the National Judicial Council its money as a first line charge without interference with how they manage the funds.”

Otunla explained that at the last Federation Account Allocation Committee meeting held on December 16, a nominal distribution for money was made to the various state judiciaries.

This move, he noted, was stopped by the states to enable them (states) to carry out what he referred as reconciliation of figures.

He said, “At the last Federation Accounts Allocation Committee meeting, the OAGF made a nominal distribution for money to be remitted to the various state judiciaries but the states said they should give them more time to reconcile their figures and they rightly declined that we should not effect the deduction.

“So, at the Federal Ministry of Finance, we have tried our own very best to ensure that the judgement is abided with. So the fault is not really ours.”

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