BREAKING: It’s unconstitutional for govs to hold local govt funds — Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has declared that it is unconstitutional for state governors to hold onto funds meant for local government  administration.

Justice Emmanuel Agim stated this while delivering judgement in the suit filed by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi, the Federal Government seeking an order preventing the governors from arbitrarily dissolving democratically elected councils.

In its lead judgement read by Justice Agim on Thursday, July 11, the apex court observed that the refusal of state government on financial autonomy for local governments has gone on for over two decades.

He said local governments have since stopped receiving the money meant for them from the state governors who act in their stead.

Justice Agim noted that the 774 local government councils in the country should manage their funds themselves.

He dismissed the preliminary objections of the defendants (state governors).

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

The court consequently directed that local government allocation from the federation account should be paid directly to them henceforth.