BREAKING: Supreme court orders FG to pay allocations directly to LGAs

BREAKING: Supreme court orders FG to pay allocations directly to LGAs
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The supreme court has ruled that the federal government
should henceforth pay allocations directly to local government councils from
the federation account.


Delivering judgment in the suit on Thursday, a seven-member
panel of justices held that state governments have continued to abuse their
powers by retaining and using the funds meant for LGAs.


In May, the federal government filed a suit at the supreme
court against governors of the 36 states.


In the suit marked SC/CV/343/2024, the federal government
asked for full autonomy for the country’s 774 local governments.


In the suit filed by Lateef Fagbemi, attorney-general of the
federation (AGF) and minister of justice, the federal government also requested
the supreme court to authorise the direct transfer of funds from the federation
account to local governments — in accordance with the constitution.


The suit was hinged on 27 grounds.


“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,” the originating
summons had read.


 “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.”

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The federal government had asked the apex court to invoke
sections 1, 4, 5, 7 and 14 of the constitution to declare that the governors
and state houses of assembly are under obligation to ensure democratically elected
systems at the third tier.


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