Updated: Supreme Court orders allocations from federation account paid directly to 774 councils

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The Supreme Court of Nigeria has directed the Federal Government to pay all of the allocations due to them from the Federation account directly to all 774 local government areas across the states.

The Justice Emmanuel Agim-led panel also affirmed that state governments have no right to keep or manage allocations on behalf of the third tier of government, saying such a practice is unconstitutional.

The court equally ruled that the allocation of local governments should be paid directly only to the democratically elected local government council.

Persecondnews recalls 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 allocations to council areas contrary to the position of the 1999 Constitution.

The apex court maintained that the state governors have, over the years, used the privilege conferred on them by the Constitution to “defraud and rob local governments of their rights.”

The court held that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria expressly declares that allocations shall be shared and distributed among the three tiers of government.

The panel of justices stated that the state governors have no right to dissolve any democratically elected local government using state powers and replaced them with a caretaker committee.

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

The Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), had dragged the 36 state governors to the Supreme Court over alleged misconduct in the local government administration.

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Specifically, the AGF is seeking full autonomy for LGs as third-tier governments 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 to the apex court for an order prohibiting state governors from unilateral, arbitrary, and unlawful dissolution of democratically elected local government leaders.

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