Federal Government Sues Governors over local government autonomy

Federal Government Sues Governors over local government autonomy

By Muminat Ajide


The Supreme Court is set to begin hearing a lawsuit where the Federal Government challenges the ‘’unilateral, arbitrary and unlawful’’ removal of democratically-elected local government area chairmen by governors.

Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF) Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) filed the suit marked SC/CV/33/2024 a week ago. The governors were sued through their respective state Attorneys-General.

Other requests by the Federal Government include an order to halt governors from constituting caretaker committees to run the affairs of Local Governments and an injunction restraining them, their agents, and privies from receiving, spending, or tampering with funds released from the Federation Account for local governments.

Fagbemi based his arguments on 27 grounds, emphasizing the country’s creation under the Constitution and the governors’ obligation to uphold its provisions. He contends that the failure to establish democratically elected local government systems violates the 1999 Constitution and undermines its sanctity.

Fagbemi urged the Supreme Court to invoke sections 1, 4, 5, 7, and 14 of the Constitution to declare that state governors and state Houses of Assembly are obligated to ensure a democratic system at the third tier of government. He also requested the court to declare the dissolution of democratically elected local government councils by governors or using state powers as unlawful, unconstitutional, null, and void.

In a supporting affidavit, Fagbemi stressed the importance of recognizing the democratically elected local government system as mandated by the constitution and ensuring proper allocation of funds from the Federation Account. He highlighted the defendants’ failure to comply with the constitution despite clear provisions and court decisions.


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