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Return LGA funds or risk legal action, SERAP tells 36 governors, Wike

The Socio-Financial Rights and Accountability Venture has known as on the 36 state governors and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, to “instantly account and repay the native authorities funds they’ve collected through the years.”

SERAP’s attraction adopted a Supreme Courtroom ruling on Thursday that declared unconstitutional the follow of state governors and the FCT minister of withholding and utilizing funds meant for native governments.

In an announcement signed by SERAP Deputy Director Kolawole Oluwadare on Thursday, the organisation stated: “We commend the Supreme Courtroom for this landmark determination which is able to put an finish to the continuing alleged misappropriation of multi-trillion FAAC allocations or public funds meant for native governments.

“Following the Supreme Courtroom ruling, there may be now a transparent authorized precedent to carry governors and the FCT Minister accountable for the way they spent the native authorities funds they collected.”

Oluwadare added: “Implicit within the judgment of the Supreme Courtroom is the requirement that the governors and the Minister of the FCT should instantly account for and repay the funds meant for native governments however retained and used or allegedly misused by them.”

“Accounting for and repaying the LGA funds collected would improve confidence in democratic establishments and strengthen the rule of legislation.”

“If the governors and the FCT minister fail to account and refund the funds meant for native governments of their states and FCT inside 7 days, SERAP will take into account applicable authorized motion to compel the governors and the FCT minister to adjust to our requests within the public curiosity.”

The organisation famous that it’s within the public curiosity that the governors and the minister of the FCT account for and repay the funds earmarked for native governments of their states and the FCT since 1999.

“Accounting and repaying native authorities funds collected would alleviate poverty, enhance Nigerians’ entry to primary public items and improve the capability of native governments to successfully and effectively discharge their constitutional and statutory obligations.

“The 36 states in Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja have reportedly obtained over N40 trillion in federal allocations meant for the 774 native authorities areas within the nation and the FCT.”

“The Federation Account Allocation Committee has disbursed N225.21 billion in federal allocations to states in November 2023 alone, meant for native governments. States additionally obtained N258,810,449,711.47 in federal allocations meant for native authorities areas in December 2023,” the assertion stated.

The Lawyer Common of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi, filed a lawsuit on behalf of the federal authorities in search of full autonomy and direct funding to all 774 native governments within the nation.

The 36 state governments, represented by their attorneys basic, filed a counterclaim difficult the Supreme Courtroom’s jurisdiction to listen to the case.

On Thursday, the Supreme Courtroom dominated in favor of the federal authorities.

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