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LG Autonomy: Supreme Court Reserves Judgement For FG, 36 States





By Stephen Asaba-ase



The Supreme Court has reserved judgment on a landmark case brought by the Federal Government against the 36 State Governors. The government seeks to grant full autonomy to the 774 local governments, citing constitutional provisions.


Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN, argued that state governors should not arbitrarily dismiss democratically elected local council chairmen. He also requested that funds from the federation account be channeled directly to local government coffers, rather than the joint account controlled by state governors.


The AGF further requested that the court restrain governors from setting up committees to control local government affairs in a way that contravenes democratic norms. Additionally, the Federal Government seeks to prevent governors and their associates from handling funds from the Federation Account pending the court’s decision.


The State Governors, represented by their Attorneys General and Commissioners for Justice, oppose the Federal Government’s request, seeking to maintain their control over local governments.


The Supreme Court’s 7-man panel, led by Justice Garba Lawal, has reserved judgment, with a date to be announced later. The outcome of this case will have significant implications for the governance and autonomy of local governments in Nigeria.