The concept of separation of powers, according to research was traced to Baron de Montesquieu, a French enlightenment author, though the actual separation of powers amongst different branches of government can be credited to political practitioners of ancient Greece.
The aforementioned French author described the concept as “trias politica” in his publication, “Spirit of the Laws”, where political authority of the State is divided into the Legislative, Executive and Judicial powers.
The above further asserted that to most effectively promote liberty, these powers must be separate and thus, act independently.
Succinctly put, Separation of Powers therefore refers to the division of government responsibilities into distinct branches to limit any one branch from exercising the core function of another, with the intent to prevent the concentration of power in a single arm and provide for checks and balances.
In the light of the above, the 7th Abia State House of Assembly, under the leadership of Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji MNSE through the completion of the 5th Alteration of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has brought to the fore that indeed, the Legislature is the bastion of Democracy in the world today.
This is also to put on notice that the Abia State House of Assembly is the very first State Legislature in Nigeria to complete the 5th Alteration which has put paid the long standing struggle to grant full financial and administrative autonomy to the State Legislatures, Judiciary and the Local Governments.
For purposes of scholarship, it is here reemphasised that the Legislature is that organ of the Government which formulates laws and enjoys a very special and important role or position in every Democratic State.
Thus, it is an assembly of the elected representatives of the people and thereby represents national public opinion and powers of the people, laying credence to the fact that Nigeria’s democracy, using the Legislature as a yard stick is a participatory democracy in which citizens participate individually and directly in political decisions and policies that affect their lives.
Emphatically, it is reiterated that the powers of the citizenry is being held in trust by these persons, freely elected as representatives who ventilate the opinions of the masses for their general good.
In these regards, the Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji led 7th Abia State House of Assembly must be appreciated for showing leadership, responsibility and responsiveness after painstakingly involving Nigerians through public hearings to know their thoughts on the burning issues bothering on the autonomy of arms and to an extent, tiers of Government.
It is hinted here that fusion of powers, which brings encumbered and overbearing overlapping of functions is now put to rest to ensure that rightly, the Legislative branch should exercise congressional powers, with the Executive exercising Executive powers and the Judiciary exercising Judicial reviews with the bottom line being the ability to manage funds independently to enable these institutions to set and realize it’s strategic aims.
Credit must also be given to the Head of Legislative Services and Clerk to the House, Dr Johnpedro Nnamdi Irokansi for constantly providing the administrative and legislative firepower, remaining the “instrumentum laboris” of the Abia State House of Assembly.
More heights Abia State House of Assembly for recording another first among State Legislatures in Nigeria.
Henry Onyema Madubuike