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Federal Govt Sues 36 Governors, Advocates Full Autonomy For LGAs | Citizen NewsNG

ByCitizen NewsNG

May 27, 2024

Nigeria’s Coat Of Arms 

 

 

The Federal Government of Nigeria has filed a lawsuit against the governors of all 36 states at the Supreme Court, alleging misconduct in the administration of Local Government Areas (LGAs).

Vanguard reports that in the suit marked SC/CV/343/2024, filed by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, the Federal Government of Nigeria seeks full autonomy for LGAs as the third tier of government.

The FG specifically asks the Supreme Court to: “Prohibit state governors from unilaterally dissolving democratically elected local government leaders.

“Ensure that funds allocated to LGAs are directly transferred from the Federation Account to the local governments, bypassing the allegedly unlawful joint accounts managed by governors.

“Stop governors from forming Caretaker Committees to manage LGAs, insisting on constitutionally mandated democratic systems.

“Restrict governors and their agents from using LGA funds from the Federation Account when no democratically elected local government system is in place.”

The lawsuit names the governors through their respective Attorneys General.

In 27 grounds supporting the suit, the Federal Government of Nigeria argues that Nigeria’s federation, as defined by the 1999 Constitution (as amended), requires the President and governors to uphold the Constitution.

The Federal Government of Nigeria emphasizes the Constitution’s supremacy and its binding force across Nigeria.

The Federal Government of Nigeria further asserts that: “The Constitution recognizes federal, state, and local governments as three tiers, each funded by the Federation Account.

“A democratically elected local government system is mandatory, and no other governance systems are constitutionally permitted at the local level.

“Governors have failed to establish democratically elected local governments, even without state emergencies justifying the suspension of democratic institutions.”

This failure is a deliberate subversion of the Constitution.

The FG contends that continuing to disburse funds from the Federation Account to states without democratically elected local governments undermines the Constitution’s sanctity.

Consequently, the FG seeks the Supreme Court’s invocation of sections 1, 4, 5, 7, and 14 of the Constitution to:

Declare that governors and State Houses of Assembly must ensure a democratic system at the local government level.

Declare unlawful, unconstitutional, and void the dissolution of democratically elected local government councils by governors or anyone using state powers derived from laws enacted by State Houses of Assembly or executive orders.

In a 13-paragraph affidavit by Kelechi Ohaeri from the Federal Ministry of Justice, the AGF states that the recognized local government system by the Constitution is democratically elected councils.

The FG will present various online publications to underscore the national importance and public interest in granting autonomy to LGAs.

The Supreme Court has scheduled the hearing for May 30.

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