LG Autonomy: Supreme Court Reserves Judgment In FG Suit Against Governors

The Supreme Court has reserved judgment in the suit filed by the Federal Government against the 36 State governors seeking full autonomy for the 774 local governments in the country.

Justice Garba Lawal on Thursday, told the parties that the date for the judgement will be communicated to them.

The apex court reserved the judgment after the 7-man panel of the court had taken adoption of processes filed by the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN on behalf of the Federal Government and those of the 36 State Governors.

At Thursday's proceedings, the AGF pleaded with the Supreme Court to grant all the reliefs sought by the Federal Government in the suit.

However, the governors through their respective State Attorneys-General and Commissioner for Justice opposed the Federal Government's request and asked the court to dismiss the suit.

Fagbemi had on behalf of the Federal Government initiated the legal action against the governors, primarily to seek full autonomy for local governments as the third tier of government in the country.

In the suit marked SC/CV/343/2024, the AGF is praying the apex court for an order restraining the state governors from unilaterally, arbitrarily and unlawfully dissolving democratically elected local government chairmen.

The Chief Counsel of the Federation, in the original summons which he personally signed, is also praying the Supreme Court for an order to allow the funds in the appropriations of the local governments to be channeled directly to them from the Federation Account in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, against the alleged illegal joint accounts created by the governors.

He also sought the order of the apex court to prevent the governors from constituting inner committees to conduct the affairs of the local governments, against the democratically recognised and guaranteed system.

In addition, the Federal Government has sought an order prohibiting governors, agents and their privies from receiving, spending or handling funds released from the Federation Account for the benefit of local governments when no democratically elected local government system is in place.

The governors were sued through their respective state Attorneys General.

The suit is predicated on 27 grounds, which include the fact that the Federation of Nigeria is a creation of the 1999 Constitution, with the President as the head of the federal executive arm of the Federation and sworn to uphold and implement the provisions of the Constitution.

Last updated on July 16th, 2024 at 12:01 am

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