TimeTestedNews ||AGF asks S’Court to halt transfer of LG funds to states

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The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), has asked the Supreme Court to stop the remitting of local government funds to states.

In the action instituted on behalf of the federal government, Fagbemi also wants the Supreme Court to stop the 36 state governments from the disbandment of elected local government chairmen and replacing them with caretaker committees.

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In the suit dated May 20, 2024, the federal government sough a declaration “that by virtue of Section 162(5) of the Nigerian Constitution, 1999, the state government is merely an agent of the local government in the state to collect the amount standing to the credit of the local governments in the federation account and received by a state on its behalf, and paid into state joint local government account, is liable to be paid directly to each local government on its behalf.”

In the suit marked marked SC/CV/343/2024 with 27 grounds, the federal government further seeks to invoke sections 1, 4, 5, 7 and 14 of the constitution to declare that the governors and houses of assembly are under obligation to ensure democratically system at the third tier of government in Nigeria.

The AGF also requested for the invocation of sections 1, 4, 5, 7 and 14 of the constitution to declare that dissolution of democratically elected local government councils by the governors or anyone using the state powers derivable from laws enacted by the state houses of assembly or any executive order is unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void.

Among other reliefs sought is “a declaration that a local government council is entitled to a direct payment from the federation account of the amount standing to its credit in the said federation account where the state government has persistently refused or failed to pay to it the said amount received by the state government on its behalf.

“An order of injunction restraining the defendants, by themselves, ther privies, agents, offictals or howsoever called from receiving, spending or tampering with funds released from the federation account for the benefit of local government councils when no democratically elected local government system is put in place in the state.

“An order that the federation through its relevant officials shail pay to local governments in the states directly from the federation account the amount standing to their credit therein, where the said state has refused or failed to pay to each of them or anyone of them, the omounts if received or has been receiving on their/its behalf.

“An order of immediate compliance by the states, through their elected or appointed officials and public officers, with the terms of the judgment and orders made in this suit: and successive compliance by successive state government officials.”