July 13, 2024

Just in: Supreme Court orders FG to disburse local government funds directly

The Supreme Court of Nigeria has issued a directive to all state governors to refrain from interfering with funds allocated to the 774 local government areas in Nigeria, deeming such control unconstitutional.

This ruling follows a suit in which Justice Garba Mohammed Lawal reserved judgment on June 13, with the court promising to notify the parties involved once the judgment was ready.

The apex court’s decision reaffirms the autonomy of local governments in managing their finances, free from state government interference.

In a lawsuit based on 27 grounds, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) alleged that state governors engaged in gross misconduct and abuse of power. The AGF sought a court order to:

– Stop governors from appointing caretaker committees to manage local government areas (LGAs)

– Enforce the constitutional requirement of democratic governance in LGAs

– Restraining governors and their representatives from:

– Receiving

– Spending

– Interfering with funds meant for LGAs from the federation account

Justice Garba Mohammed Lawal, leading a 7-member panel of Supreme Court Justices, announced the reservation of the judgment after hearing arguments from both the federal government and the state governors.

The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, presented the federal government’s case, while the 36 state governors presented their arguments through their legal representatives. The court’s decision followed careful consideration of the submissions from both parties.

 

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