HEADLINE | Posted: Wednesday, July 10, 2024

‘Supreme Court delivers final judgement on Local Govt Autonomy on Thursday’


By Oladipo Abiola

The Supreme Court has reportedly picked Thursday, 11th July, to deliver the final judgement on the issue of local government autonomy between the federal government and the 36 state governors.

According to a report monitored by Naija News on The Nation, the Supreme Court has already informed all the parties and their lawyers about the date.

A document relating to the matter indicates that the notice for the judgment delivery was served on the Federal Government through the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice at the Federal Ministry of Justice in Abuja.

It would be recalled that the federal government is seeking full autonomy for the 774 local governments in the country, but the move is being opposed by the state governments.

It would be recalled that the Supreme Court on Thursday, 13th June, reserved judgment on the Federal Government’s lawsuit against the 36 state Governors regarding the autonomy of the 774 local government areas in Nigeria.

The apex court, however, disclosed that its ruling would be delivered at a future date to be communicated to the stakeholders.

A seven-member panel, presided over by Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba, said a date for the judgment will be communicated to parties and their counsel.

Justice Garba made the announcement on the reservation of the judgment shortly after lawyers to parties adopted their final addresses and made final submissions.

Naija News reports the federal government is advocating for full autonomy for the 774 local governments in case SC/CV/343/2024.

The federal government through the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi, is seeking relief from the Supreme Court, requesting an order to restrain State Governors from unilaterally, arbitrarily, and unlawfully dissolving democratically elected local government leaders within their respective states.

In the originating summons personally signed by the Chief Law Officer of the Federation, the Supreme Court is being petitioned for an order allowing the funds held in the credits of local governments to be directly allocated to them from the Federation Account, in accordance with constitutional provisions, rather than through the purported unlawful joint accounts established by governors.

He additionally requested an order from the Apex Court to prohibit governors from forming Caretaker Committees to administer the affairs of local governments, contrary to the constitutionally recognized and guaranteed democratic system.

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