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LG Autonomy: Supreme Court Reserves Judgement On FG's Suit Against 36 State Governors

Posted by Amarachi on Fri 14th Jun, 2024 - tori.ng

After listening to both parties, the Justice Lawal-led panel said it would communicate the judgement date to them.

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has reserved judgment on the lawsuit filed by the Federal Government against state governors to secure full autonomy for the 774 Local Government Areas in the country.

On Thursday, June 13, a seven-man panel of the court, led by Justice Garba Lawal okayed the matter for judgment, after governors of the 36 states of the Federation, through their Attorney-Generals, adopted their briefs of argument but the states, in separate preliminary objections, sought the dismissal of the suit with substantial cost.

The states argued that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, who initiated the action on behalf of FG, lacked the locus standi (legal right) to do so.

The states further alleged that the AGF breached their rights to a fair hearing when he failed to serve them with a copy of a further affidavit he filed in support of the suit.

Some of the states argued that they already have democratically elected LG officials in place, insisting that the suit by FG amounted to an abuse of the judicial process.

FG had in the suit prayed the Supreme Court to rule on full autonomy for all the LGAs in the country as the third tier of government.

It prayed the court to issue an order, prohibiting state governors from embarking on unilateral, arbitrary and unlawful dissolution of democratically elected local government leaders.

The FG also prayed for an order permitting the funds standing in the credits of local governments to be directly channelled to them from the Federation Account in line with the provisions of the Constitution as against the alleged unlawful joint accounts created by governors.

After listening to both parties, the Justice Lawal-led panel said it would communicate the judgement date to them.
 



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