Supreme Court Reserves Judgment on FG’s Local Govt Autonomy Suit

A seven-member panel, led by Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba, declared that the judgement date will be communicated to all parties and their respective lawyers.
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The Supreme Court of Nigeria has reserved judgment in the suit filed by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) on behalf of the Federal Government against State Governors concerning the long-standing dispute over local government autonomy.

A seven-member panel, led by Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba, declared that the judgement date will be communicated to all parties and their respective lawyers.

The Supreme Court also rejected to include the State Houses of Assembly as defendants in the Federal Government's lawsuit against the 36 state governors demanding full autonomy for the country's 774 local governments.

The court ruled that the Houses of Assembly had no legal right to intervene in the case.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, AGF, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, initiated the lawsuit against the governors on behalf of the Federal Government, principally demanding full autonomy for local governments as the country's third tier of government.

In the suit marked SC/CV/343/2024, the AGF petitions the Apex Court for an order restraining state governors from independently, and unlawfully dissolving democratically elected local government councils.

In the original summons, which he personally signed, the AGF additionally requested the Supreme Court for an order allowing funds in local governments' appropriations to be channelled directly to them from the Federation Account in accordance with the Constitution's provisions against the alleged illegal joint accounts established by the governors.

He also requested an injunction from the Supreme Court prohibiting governors from constituting internal committees to handle local government activities, which is contrary to the democratically recognised and guaranteed system.


Furthermore, the Federal Government requested an order prohibiting governors, their agents, and privies from accepting, spending, or managing funds received from the Federation Account for the benefit of local governments where no legitimately elected local government system is in place.

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