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Breaking news: Supreme Court grants Local Governments financial autonomy



The Supreme Court has ruled that Local Government allocations from the Federation Account should be paid directly to them henceforth.

The apex court held that it is unconstitutional for state governors to hold onto funds meant for Local Government (LG) administrations.

The Court therefore orders that funds meant for the Local Government Councils be paid to them directly from the Federation Account and not through the state governors.

In its lead judgment read by Justice Emmanuel Agim, the apex court observed that the refusal of state government on financial autonomy for local governments has gone on for over two decades crippling the effective functioning of the third tier of government.

He said local governments have since stopped receiving the money meant for them from the state governors who act in their stead.

Justice Agim noted that the 774 local government councils in the country should manage their funds themselves.

He dismissed the preliminary objections of the defendants (state governors).

In the suit filed by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi, the Federal Government sought an order preventing the governors from arbitrarily dissolving democratically elected councils. The suit by the AGF was on 27 grounds.

Justice Agim said the AGF has the right to institute the suit and protect the constitution.

The apex court consequently directed that Local Government allocation from the Federation Account should be paid directly to them henceforth.

It holds that the States are exploiting the roles handed to them by the Constitution by holding onto funds meant for local government councils.

The Apex Court therefore says the local government councils have the sole right to control their funds.


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