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FG drags 36 governors to Supreme Court over LG autonomy

The FG sued the 36 governors through their respective state Attorney-Generals.

FG drags 36 governors to Supreme Court over LG autonomy

In a suit marked SC/CV/343/2024 and filed on behalf of the government by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, the FG sought recognition of LGAs as an autonomous third tier of government in the country.

Fagbemi prayed the court to issue an order prohibiting state governors from arbitrary, unilateral, and unlawful dissolution of democratically elected LG administrators.

The suit, which is predicated on 27 grounds, also sought an order to allow LG funds to be directly channelled to them from the Federation Account in line with the provisions of the Constitution as against the unlawful joint accounts created by governors.

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The AGF also contended in the suit that Nigeria as a federation is a creation of the 1999 Constitution with the President as the head of the Federal Executive arm, and has sworn to uphold and effect the provisions of the grundnorm.

The FG also prayed the Supreme Court for an order prohibiting governors from further constituting Caretaker Committees to run local government affairs as against the constitutionally recognised and guaranteed system.

The suit equally sought an injunction restraining the governors, their agents and privies from receiving, spending, or tampering with funds released to LGs from the Federation Account.

The minister, in a 13-paragraph affidavit in support of the originating summons deposed to by one Kelechi Ohaeri from the Federal Ministry of Justice, sued the 36 governors through their respective state attorney generals.

That the governors represent the component states of the Federation with Executive Governors who have also sworn to uphold the Constitution and to at all times, give effects to the constitution and that the constitution, being the supreme law, has binding force all over the federation of Nigeria.

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“That the constitution of Nigeria recognises federal, states and local governments as three tiers of government and that the three recognised tiers of government draw funds for their operation and functioning from the Federation Account created by the Constitution.

“That by the provisions of the constitution, there must be a democratically elected local government system and that the constitution has not made provisions for any other systems of governance at the local government level other than the democratically elected local government system,” the summon partly read.

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