• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Supreme Court to deliver judgement on local government autonomy suit Thursday

The Supreme Court will deliver its judgment regarding the suit seeking full autonomy for Nigeria’s 774 local governments on Thursday.

Notices regarding this development have been sent to the lawyers involved in the case.

The federal government, represented by Attorney-General Lateef Fagbemi, initiated the suit, marked SC/CV/343/2024, against all 36 states.

The federal government is asking the Supreme Court to stop governors from arbitrarily dissolving democratically elected local councils.

The suit also seeks authorisation for the direct transfer of funds from the federation account to local governments, in accordance with constitutional provisions.

The suit is based on 27 grounds, emphasising that the Nigerian Constitution recognizes federal, state, and local governments as three distinct tiers. Each of these tiers draws operational funds from the federation account.

The federal government urges the apex court to invoke sections 1, 4, 5, 7, and 14 of the Constitution, affirming that governors and state houses of assemblies must ensure the establishment of democratically elected local government systems.

The originating summons reads, “That the constitution of Nigeria recognises federal, states and local governments as three tiers of government and that the three recognized tiers of government draw funds for their operation and functioning from the federation account created by the constitution.

“That by the provisions of the constitution, there must be a democratically elected local government system and that the constitution has not made provisions for any other systems of governance at the local government level other than democratically elected local government system.

“That in the face of the clear provisions of the constitution, the governors have failed and refused to put in place a democratically elected local government system even where no state of emergency has been declared to warrant the suspension of democratic institutions in the state.

“That the failure of the governors to put democratically elected local government system in place is a deliberate subversion of the 1999 Constitution which they and the President have sworn to uphold.

“That all efforts to make the governors comply with the dictates of the 1999 Constitution in terms of putting in place a democratically elected local government system, has not yielded any result and that to continue to disburse funds from the federation account to governors for non existing democratically elected local governments is to undermine the sanctity of the 1999 constitution.”