Constitutionality of the Presidential Executive Order on Financial Autonomy in the States

President Muhammed Buhari on 20th May 2020 signed an executive order on “Implementation of Financial Autonomy of State Legislature and State Judiciary”(the “Order”) relying on Section 5 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended (the “Constitution”) which the Executive Governors of several States have expressed discomfort with. Subsequently, the President has teleconference with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and decided to delay gazetting the Order until Attorney General of the Federation meets with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and resolve issues the Governors might have with the said Order.

Since its signing, there has been difference as to the legality or otherwise of the said Order and its effect, practically speaking. Hence, we will examine the nature of financial autonomy within the states prior to the Order before explaining its effects in practice and in governance.

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