…says Governors have no right to dissolve elected LGs Chairmen

By Jerry Daks

The Supreme Court of Nigeria, Thursday, endorsed autonomy for the 774 local governments in Nigeria.

The Apex court, had in this judgement directed the Federal Government to pay directly to all 774 Local Government Area all the allocations meant form them, hence, mitigating the abuse of the affairs by the state governors.

The Justice Emmanuel Again led panel also affirmed that the States government has no right to keep and manage allocation on behalf of the local government saying such remains unconstitutional.

The Court equally ruled that the allocation of local government should be paid directly only to the democratically elected local government Council

Recall that the Federal Government, through the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice instituted the case against the 36 State Governors for disbursing allocation to Council areas contrary to the position of the 1999 Constitution.

The Apex Court maintained that, the state Governors have for over the years used the privilege conferred on them by the Constitution to defraud and rob the local government of it’s rights.

The judgement held said that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria expressly declared that the allocation shall be shared and distributed among the three tiers of Government.

The panel stated that the state Governors has no right to dissolve any democratically elected local government using state powers and replaced them with caretaker committee.

Consequently, it ordered that henceforth, no state government should be paid the allocation meant for the local government in the country.

Recall that the FG, through the AGF, Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN, dragged the 36 state governors to the supreme court over alleged misconduct in the local government administration.

Specifically, the AGF is seeking full autonomy for LG as third tiers of government in the country.

The Governors were sued through their respective State Attorneys General.

In the suit marked SC/CV/343/2024, the AGF is praying the Apex Court for an order prohibiting State Governors from unilateral, arbitrary and unlawful dissolution of democratically elected local government leaders for local governments.
In the originating summons, AGF is also praying the Apex Court for an order permitting the funds standing in the credits of local governments to be directly channelled to them from the Federation Account in line with the provisions of the Constitution as against the alleged unlawful joint accounts created by governors.

The summon personally signed by AGF, seeks an order of the Apex Court stopping governors from constituting Caretaker Committees to run the affairs of local governments as against the Constitutionally recognized and guaranteed democratically system.

It also applied for an order of injunction restraining the governors, their agents and privies from receiving, spending or tampering with funds released from the Federation Account for the benefits of local governments when no democratically elected local government system is put in place in the states.

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