Supreme Court Reserves Judgment on Local Government Autonomy


The Supreme Court has reserved judgment on a significant suit filed by the Federal Government against the 36 state governments, seeking to enforce financial autonomy for the country’s 774 local government areas. The decision came after parties involved in the case adopted their briefs on Thursday.

Initiated by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), the Federal Government’s suit accuses state governments of withholding local government funds and appointing caretaker committees instead of democratically elected officials. The suit aims to stop this practice and ensure local governments receive funds directly from the Federation Account.

Representatives from all 36 states opposed the Federal Government’s suit, urging the Supreme Court to dismiss it. Despite their objections, the AGF argued for the enforcement of local government autonomy, emphasizing the need for democratically elected leadership at the local level.

A seven-member panel led by Justice Garba Lawal announced that the parties would be notified once the judgment is ready. The case underscores a broader struggle over the control and management of local government funds and governance in Nigeria.

Mike Ojo

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