Local Government Autonomy: Supreme Court Delivers Final Judgement July 11

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The Supreme Court has fixed Thursday, July 11, to deliver its final judgement on the contentious issue of local government autonomy between the federal government and the 36 state governors.

According to a report, the apex court has informed all parties and their lawyers about the date, with a notice served on the Federal Government through the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice at the Federal Ministry of Justice in Abuja.

The federal government is seeking full autonomy for the 774 local governments, while the state governments are opposing the move. The Supreme Court had reserved judgment on the matter on June 13, with a seven-member panel presided over by Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba announcing that a date for the judgment would be communicated to parties and their counsel.

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The federal government, through the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi, is seeking relief from the Supreme Court, requesting an order to restrain State Governors from unilaterally, arbitrarily, and unlawfully dissolving democratically elected local government leaders within their respective states.

The AGF also requested an order allowing funds held in the credits of local governments to be directly allocated to them from the Federation Account, in accordance with constitutional provisions, rather than through the purported unlawful joint accounts established by governors.

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Furthermore, the AGF sought an order from the Apex Court to prohibit governors from forming Caretaker Committees to administer the affairs of local governments, contrary to the constitutionally recognized and guaranteed democratic system.

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The judgement, expected on July 11, will likely have far-reaching implications for local government autonomy in Nigeria.

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