Supreme Court’s Ruling On LG Funds: APC Chieftain Lauds Tinubu, AGF

A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Sunday Okoro, has congratulated President Bola Tinubu and the Attorney General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi, on the Supreme Court’s judgment affirming the payment of local government funds from the Federation Account directly to the local government’s coffers rather than to any joint account with state governments.

Speaking in an interview, the APC stalwart described the Supreme Court ruling as a significant shift in the political and financial landscape.

He explained that the federal government, under President Tinubu, brought the suit, accusing state governors of gross misconduct and abuse of power on 27 grounds.

The federal government prayed that the Supreme Court would expressly order that funds standing to the credit of local governments from the federation account should be paid directly to the local governments rather than through the state governments.

This decision alters the traditional power dynamics between the federal and state governments.

It also prayed for “an order of injunction restraining the governors, their agents and privies from receiving, spending or tampering with funds released from the Federation Account for the benefits of local governments when no democratically elected local government system is put in place in the states.”

Reacting to the judgment, Chief Okoro said: “This is a landmark judgment that will make local government administration more vibrant and accountable to the people.

“I congratulate our leader, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, whose interest is ensuring that Nigeria works again.

“I also congratulate the Attorney General in the trenches with our president to ensure our local government system functions well. This is a victory for democracy and has shown that the president is a listening person with the interests of Nigerians at heart.

“Nigerians should continue to support the present administration in righting the wrongs of the past through people-oriented leadership. Our collective support is crucial in ensuring a better future for our country.”

In the meantime, the Supreme Court has ruled on the Federal Government’s lawsuit against the 36 state governors regarding local government autonomy.

In the suit, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), sought full autonomy and direct fund allocation to the country’s 774 local governments, a move that underscores the crucial role of the AGF in upholding the rule of law and protecting the constitution.

In its lead judgment, read by Justice Emmanuel Agim, the apex court declared that it is unconstitutional for governors to hold on to funds meant for Local Government (LG) administrations. Justice Agim said the state government refused to give local government’s financial autonomy for over two decades.

According to him, local governments have since stopped receiving the money meant for them from the state governors who act in their stead.

This ruling effectively mandates the direct allocation of funds to local governments, a significant shift in the financial management of local government administrations.

While noting that the 774 local government councils in the country should manage their funds themselves, he dismissed the defendants’ preliminary objections (state governors).

Justice Agim said the AGF has the right to institute the suit and protect the constitution.

The apex court consequently directed that the local government funds from the federation account should be paid directly to them

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *