Six Key Takeaways From Supreme Court’s Ruling On LG allocations

The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, July 11, that henceforth, the federal government must directly pay any funds allocated to the local governments in the federation to the local government areas managed by democratically elected officials.

In a leading judgment by Justice Emmanuel Agim, the apex court also ruled that it is unconstitutional for state governments to withhold and utilize the allocation meant for the LGAs without transferring the same to them as specified in Section 162(3) of the constitution.

Here are key takeaways from the Supreme Court’s ruling on LG allocations

1. Unconstitutional Practice: The court declared that it is illegal and unconstitutional for governors to continue receiving and seizing funds allocated to LGAs, a practice ongoing for over two decades.

2. Violation of the Constitution: The apex court found that this practice violates Section 162 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

3. Direct Payment of Funds: The court ordered that funds meant for LGAs must be paid directly from the federation account to the LGAs, rather than through the states.

4. Democratic Governance Mandate: The court emphasized that LGAs must be governed by democratically elected officials, declaring the appointment of caretaker committees by governors to run LGA affairs as unconstitutional.

5. Obligation of States: The ruling underscores that the 36 states are obligated to ensure democratic governance at the third tier of government.

6. Dismissal of Governors’ Objections: The court dismissed the preliminary objections filed by state governors challenging the competence of the suit filed by the Federal Government to secure financial autonomy for the LGAs.

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