• Monday, June 17, 2024
businessday logo


Governors use state electoral commission to impose leaders on LGAs, it should be scrapped – Fagbemi

Nigeria seeks institutional framework to address illicit financial flows in West Africa

Lateef Fagbemi, the attorney general of the federation (AGF), said there is a need to abolish State Electoral Commissions, which he identifies as significant obstacles to local government development.

Speaking at a one-day event titled “Discourse on National Nigeria’s Security Challenges and Good Governance at the Local Government Levels” in Abuja on Monday, Fagbemi highlighted how governors exploit constitutional gaps to undermine local governments.

He pointed out that these deficiencies enable governors to infringe upon local governments’ rights, leaving grassroots communities without a tangible presence.

The AGF specifically criticised the use of state electoral commissions to impose leaders through questionable elections, while many governors opt for caretaker leadership in local governments.

He also highlighted the fiscal strain caused by governors controlling joint accounts, urging the scrapping of State Electoral Commissions to strengthen democracy at the local level.

Fagbemi advocated for a robust constitutional amendment to remove barriers hindering local governments from fulfilling their constitutionally recognised functions.

“To achieve this, many experts have proposed that there is need for the scrapping of the state independent electoral commission. Their functions and powers should be transferred to the independent national electoral commission because the state independent electoral commission remain an appendage to every incumbent governor. This is perceived as the root cause of the problem of local government administration in Nigeria,” the minister of justice said.

Fagbemi’s comment comes a few days after he dragged state governors to the Supreme Court on behalf of the federal government.

The legal action seeks to halt the remittance of local government funds to states and prevent the replacement of elected local government chairpersons with caretaker committees.