Supreme Court directs FG to send funds to LGAs directly

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has decided that funds from the Federation Account should now be paid directly to local government councils by the federal government.

A seven-member panel of justices rendered a decision in the lawsuit on Thursday, concluding that state governments had persisted in abusing their authority by keeping and utilizing money intended for LGAs.

The federal government sued each of the 36 state governors in May at the Supreme Court.

In the lawsuit designated SC/CV/343/2024, the national government demanded that each of the 774 local governments in the nation have complete authority.

In the lawsuit brought by Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice Lateef Fagbemi, the federal government also asked the Supreme Court to grant permission for the constitutionally-mandated direct transfer of monies from the federation account to local governments.

The lawsuit rested on 27 arguments.

“That the constitution of Nigeria recognizes federal, states and local governments as three tiers of government and that the three recognized tiers of government draw funds for their operation and functioning from the federation account created by the constitution,” the originating summons had read.

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“That all efforts to make the governors comply with the dictates of the 1999 Constitution in terms of putting in place a democratically elected local government system, has not yielded any result and that to continue to disburse funds from the federation account to governors for non-existing democratically elected local governments is to undermine the sanctity of the 1999 constitution.”

The federal government has petitioned the supreme court to declare that the governors and state houses of assembly have a duty to guarantee democratically elected systems at the third tier, citing provisions 1, 4, 5, 7, and 14 of the constitution.

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