The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has warned that the federal government will destroy criminal justice system in the States if the Executive Order 10 is implemented.
Governor Wike, said Executive Order 10 of the Federal Government, which permits the deduction of funds from each state’s account to finance the judiciary, is politically motivated and geared towards the 2023 general election.
The Governor made this assertion in his keynote address presented at the 3rd Annual Nigerian Criminal Law Review Conference organised by the Rule of Law Development Foundation in Abuja on Monday.
He stated that ahead of the 2023 general election, the federal government which has been hostile to judges, now suddenly wants to lure the judiciary to assume it believes in independence of judiciary, by enacting Executive Order 10.
“Independence is not to take resources and preside over award of contract. If you cannot give judgment according to your conscience; if you cannot give judgment according to the law, then there is no independence. And this of course affects the criminal justice system.”
Governor Wike also pointed out that politicisation of the issue of security by the federal government has continued to negatively affect the criminal justice system in the country.
He said the prevailing cases of kidnapping, banditry and armed robbery which threatens the very existence and stability of the nation clearly justifies the establishment of State or Community Police.
He observed that while establishment of state police may require amendment of the extant Section 214(1) of the 1999 Constitution to provide State, the Rivers State Government is of the opinion that community police or Neighbourhood Watch could be established without constitutional amendment.
“The truth of the matter is that with the current strength of the Nigeria Police Force which stands at about 372000 (Three Hundred and Seventy Two Thousand), the Nigeria Police Force lacks the operational capacity to fulfil its primary or core mandate of crime detection, crime prevention and maintenance of public safety, law and order or protection of lives and property of persons in Nigeria.