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Governors ordered by Supreme court to pay allocations directly to LGAs

By Kachi Ekile

On Thursday, the Supreme Court ordered state governors to pay allocations directly to local government councils from the federation account.

In his verdict, Justice Emmanuel Agim noted that the refusal of the state government on financial autonomy for local governments has gone on for over two decades, adding that the 774 local government councils in the country should manage their funds themselves.

The federal government in the suit marked SC/CV/343/2024 filed by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi, had requested an order stopping the governors from arbitrarily dissolving democratically elected councils.

The federal government also asked for complete autonomy for the 774 local governments in the nation.

The originating summons had read: “That the constitution of Nigeria recognizes federal, states and local governments as three tiers of government and that the three recognized tiers of government draw funds for their operation and functioning from the federation account created by the constitution.

“That all efforts to make the governors comply with the dictates of the 1999 Constitution in terms of putting in place a democratically elected local government system, has not yielded any result and that to continue to disburse funds from the federation account to governors for non-existing democratically elected local governments is to undermine the sanctity of the 1999 constitution.”

While delivering the judgement of the Apex Court, Justice Agim stated that the AGF has the right to institute the suit and protect the constitution.

Subsequently, the payment of the local government allocation from the Federation Account was directed by the judge.

 

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