Human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Olisa Agbakoba, has called for more accountability of public funds at the local government level.
In a statement signed by his Media Assistant, Niyi Odunmorayo, Agbakoba noted that funds running into trillions of naira were unaccounted for.
According to the statement, Agbakoba had filed a suit at the Federal High Court, to stop the allocation of public funds to unelected and unaccountable local government councils.
It further explained that the basis of the case is that Section 7(1) of the 1999 Constitution guarantees a system of democratically elected government councils, but local government councils in Nigeria are never elected and are unconstitutional.
“Allocation of public funds to them is a violation of the constitution, as there is collusion with state governments in the use of trillions of naira of public funds.
“The current situation where most of the 774 local government areas are unelected is not only unconstitutional but meant no development at the local governments,” the statement said.
Although the Federal High Court denied the case, it appears that Agbakoba’s concerns have found support with guidelines recently issued by the Nigerian Finance Intelligence Unit (NFIU).
The new NFUI guidelines direct state governors and local governments to follow the constitution regarding disbursement of local government funds.