I make bold to submit that the blockage of the accounts of the Government of Cross River State by Governor Ben Ayade is commendable in view of the pervasive and endemic corruption and massive looting of public funds by the officialdom during the regime of former Governor, Liyel Imoke, and the need to bring to book those that were responsible for such sordid acts.
However the blockage of the accounts of the Judiciary by Governor Ben Ayade is clearly and plainly unconstitutional, outrageous and illegal.
It is an act of contempt and disrespect for Governor Ayade to purport to block the accounts of the Judiciary that is a different arm of government from the Executive!
It is an immutable fact that Governor Ben Ayade is the Chief Executive of the State but his executive authority does not extend to the control and management of the Judiciary.
Undoubtedly the Head of the Judicial Branch of Government in Cross River State of Nigeria is: The Honourable Chief Judge of Cross River State in the person the Honourable Justice Okoi Ikpi Itam.
He is the only person that has the power to block the accounts of the Judiciary deposited in any bank not Governor Ayade under any guise.
It is well settled that the Judicial Branch of Government is an independent, separate and autonomous arm of government that is not under the control of Governor Ayade.
I frown at the contempt with which Governor Ayade holds the Judicial arm of Government.
This is why he has dismally failed to resolve the issues that are responsible for the on-going strike action by the Judicial Workers Union of Nigeria, Cross River State branch, that has totally crippled the administration of justice in the State since December, 2014.
Governor Ayade has shown complete indifference in engaging the Judicial Workers over their grievances.
Even the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding that was supposed to have been done after months of negotiation between the Government of Cross River State; the Judicial Workers Union of Nigeria and representatives of The Honourable Chief Judge of Cross River State has been stalled because of the lukewarm and indifferent attitude of Governor Ayade.
Regrettably, the N10 Million that was agreed during the negotiations that the State Government should immediately release to the Judiciary to ameliorate its teething problem as a show of good will by the Executive Branch of Government has not been paid.
It seems Governor Ayade is not just interested in resolving the dead lock! It is clear Governor Ayade has well stepped outside the bounds of his office and control and needs to immediately retrace his steps by de-freezing the Account of the Cross River State Judiciary, without any delay!
It is advised that Governor Ayade appoints Special Advisers on Legal Matters to save him from such future blunders as this!
OKOI OFEM OBONO-OBLA
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