Breaking: Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Local Government Autonomy

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In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court has declared that it is unconstitutional for state governors to withhold funds meant for local government administrations.

The court ruled in favor of the Federal Government’s suit, which sought full autonomy and direct fund allocation to the 774 local governments in the country.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), had instituted the suit on 27 grounds, accusing the state governors of gross misconduct and abuse of power.

The Federal Government prayed the court to order the direct payment of funds from the Federation Account to local governments, rather than through state governments.

In the lead judgment read by Justice Emmanuel Agim, the apex court declared that the refusal of state governments to grant financial autonomy to local governments is unconstitutional.

The court noted that this situation has persisted for over two decades, resulting in local governments not receiving their allocated funds.

Justice Agim emphasized that the 774 local government councils should manage their funds independently, and dismissed the preliminary objections of the defendants (state governors).

The court directed that local government allocations from the Federation Account be paid directly to them henceforth.

Independent Reporters reports that the judgment is a significant milestone in the quest for local government autonomy and financial independence.

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