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Supreme Court grants full autonomy to LG

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Supreme Court grants full autonomy to LG

The Supreme Court has delivered a landmark judgment in the case brought by the Federal Government against the 36 state governors concerning local government autonomy.

In this suit, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), sought full autonomy and direct fund allocation to the 774 local governments in the country.

The suit, based on 27 grounds, accused the state governors of gross misconduct and abuse of power.

The Federal Government requested the Supreme Court to order that funds allocated to local governments from the Federation Account be paid directly to them, bypassing the state governments.

READ ALSO: Supreme Court to delivers judgement on LG autonomy Thursday

Additionally, it sought an injunction to prevent governors and their agents from handling funds intended for local governments, particularly when no democratically elected local government system is in place in the states.

In the lead judgment delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional for governors to withhold funds meant for local government administrations. Justice Agim noted that the refusal to grant financial autonomy to local governments had persisted for over two decades, with local governments not receiving their rightful funds from state governors.

Justice Agim emphasised that the 774 local government councils should manage their funds independently and dismissed the state governors’ preliminary objections.

He affirmed that the Attorney General of the Federation has the right to institute the suit to protect the constitution.

Consequently, the Supreme Court directed that allocations from the Federation Account to local governments should be paid directly to them henceforth.

Proofreading by Fa’izatu Aliyu Doma, Journalist at Neptune Prime. 

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