• The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that all Federal funds for Local Government Councils should be paid directly into their accounts.

•Justice Emmanuel Agim, who led a seven-member panel of justices, delivered the judgment in a suit filed by the Federal government against the 36 State governors.

•According to the judgment, henceforth, no more payments of Local Government Area allocations will be made to State government accounts. The court also prohibited the governors from receiving, tampering with, or withholding funds meant for Local Governments.

•Furthermore, the court barred the governors from dissolving democratically elected officials for Local Governments and deemed such actions a breach of the 1999 Constitution.

•The Federal government had approached the Supreme Court with a suit seeking to compel the governors of the 36 federating states to grant full autonomy to local governments in their domains. The suit, marked SC/CV/343/2024, was filed by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), on behalf of the Federal Government.

•The Federal Government accused the State governors of gross misconduct and abuse of power in its suit, which was based on 27 grounds. In the originating summons, the FG prayed the Supreme Court to make an order stating that funds standing to the credit of local governments from the Federation Account should be paid directly to the local governments rather than through the state governments.

•The justice minister also requested an order restraining governors, their agents, and privies from receiving, spending, or tampering with funds released from the Federation Account for the benefit of local governments when no democratically elected local government system is in place in the states.

•Finally, the Federal Government sought an order stopping governors from constituting caretaker committees to run the affairs of local governments, contrary to the constitutionally recognized and guaranteed democratic system.

Reported by Ebere Agozie, News Agency of Nigeria.


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