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UPDATED: States’ retention of LG’s federation funds unconstitutional, says Supreme Court

S’Court delivers judgment on LG autonomy today

A seven-man panel of the Supreme Court on Thursday held that it was unconstitutional for states to retain and use money from the federation account on behalf of the Local Governments.

Justice Emmanuel Agim, gave this verdict while delivering judgement on Thursday in the suit filed by the Federal Government against the 36 state governors seeking full autonomy for the 774 local governments in the country.

Read also: LG Autonomy: Delta, Ogun, Osun absent as Supreme Court is set to deliver judgment

The justice also dismissed all preliminary objections in the suit.

The Supreme Court held that the Federal Government can pay allocations due to the Local Government from the federation account directly.

Justice Emmanuel Agim, while delivering judgment on Thursday in the suit filed by the Federal Government against the 36 state governors seeking full autonomy for the 774 local governments in the country held the LG allocations should no longer be paid through states.

The Justice stated that the practice of paying LG allocation has benefits abused over the years by states.

“I hold that the federal government pay LG allocations to the Local Government directly”, Justice Agim held.

Lateef Fagbemi, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice had in the suit argued that states’ retention of money due to states violates Section 162 of the 1999 constitution which provides for distribution of funds to all tiers of government.