Breaking: Supreme Court Grants LGs Financial Autonomy, Halts Payment of Funds Through States

*Bars states from putting in place caretaker committees to run LGs

Alex Enumah in Abuja

The Supreme Court of Nigeria has ordered the stoppage of the payment of Local Government Councils’ allocation through the state.

The apex court in a judgement held that Section 162 (4&5) which stipulated a joint account for state and local governments have been defeated and being exploited by the various state governments hence, the need for an order directing the payments of funds due to the local governments from the federation account directly to the local governments.

The apex court made the order while delivering judgement in the suit filed by the federal government seeking to pursue autonomy of the local governments.

Justice Emmanuel Agim, who delivered the lead judgement pointed out that Nigeria operates a three-tier system of government where no one tier is subordinate to the order.

The apex court in the judgement observed that for the last two decades the states have been retaining funds due to the local governments and disburse at their whims and caprices, contrary to the provisions of the Constitution.

Besides, the apex court has declared as unconstitutional caretaker committees put in place by state governments and ordered the stoppage of payment of allocations to them.

The apex court in the judgement held that state houses of assembly lacked powers to make laws empowering governors to appoint caretaker committees.

Agim made a declaration that any governor who dissolve any democratically elected local government greatly breaches the Constitution and commits a gross misconduct.

Details later.

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