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Breaking: Supreme Court Grants LGs Financial Autonomy



-Bars Governors From Retaining, Utilizing Funds

The Supreme Court has granted financial autonomy to the 774 Local Government Areas in the country .

The apex court consequently barred the 36 governors of the federation from further retaining or utilizing funds that are meant for the 774 Local Government Areas, LGAs, in the country.

The court held that it is illegal and unconstitutional for governors to continue to receive and seize funds allocated to LGAs in their states.

It further noted that the “dubious practice” which has gone on for over two decades, was a clear violation of Section 162 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

Delivering the lead judgement, Justice Emmanuel Agim held that no House of Assembly of any state has the power to make laws that could, in any manner, interfere with monies meant for the LGAs.

The court further held that the law mandated that LGAs must be governed by democratically elected officials.

The Court consequently ordered that funds meant for the LGAs must be directly paid to them from the federation account.

“Demands of justice require a progressive interpretation of the law. It is the position of this court that the federation can pay LGA allocations to the LGAs directly or pay them through the states.

“In this case, since paying them through states has not worked, justice of this case demands that LGA allocations from the federation account should henceforth be paid directly to the LGAs,” the apex court held.

The apex court further declared unconstitutional the appointment of caretaker committees by governors to run the affairs of the LGAs.

It held that the 36 states are under obligation to ensure democratic governance at the third tier of government.

Details later. . ….