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Supreme Court to rule today on FG’s lawsuit against governors

The Supreme Court docket will right now (Thursday) ship its verdict in a lawsuit filed by the federal authorities in opposition to the federation’s 36 governors over native authorities autonomy.

The lawsuit filed by the Lawyer Normal of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), calls for full autonomy and direct allocation of funds to the 774 native governments within the nation.

It’s asking the Excessive Court docket to subject an order that funding for LG, which is managed by interim directors appointed by governors somewhat than elected chairmen and councillors, be withdrawn.

Nonetheless, the 36 states, represented by their attorneys common, opposed the lawsuit on a number of grounds, together with that the Supreme Court docket lacked jurisdiction to listen to the case.

A panel of seven judges of the Supreme Court docket, headed by Justice Garba Lawal, heard the case on June 13 and reserved its judgment.

Whereas Fagbemi represented the federal authorities within the go well with tagged SC/CV/343/2024, the state governors have been represented by their attorneys common or legal professionals.

All states opposed the lawsuit and requested the Supreme Court docket to dismiss it.

The AGF prayed to the Supreme Court docket to grant all of the provisions sought by the Federal Authorities and grant full autonomy to native governments because the third tier of presidency in Nigeria as enshrined within the 1999 Structure.

The AGF requested the courtroom to order the direct allocation of funds from the federation account to the native authorities.

He requires a ban on the illegal dissolution of native authorities councils and on the appointment of short-term committees by state governors to run the councils.

The lawsuit relies on 27 grounds, specifically that the Nigerian Structure acknowledges federal, state and native authorities as three tiers of presidency.

It was additionally acknowledged that the three recognised ranges of presidency borrow funds for his or her operation and performing from the federation account created within the Structure.

The unique summons states: ‘In response to the provisions of the Structure, there should be a democratically elected system of native authorities and the Structure has not made any provisions for some other system of presidency on the native authorities stage aside from the democratically elected system of native authorities.

“That the governors, regardless of the clear provisions within the Structure, have didn’t implement a democratically elected native authorities system even within the absence of a state of emergency that may warrant the suspension of democratic establishments within the state.

“That the failure of the governors to implement a democratically elected native authorities system is a deliberate undermining of the 1999 Structure which they and the President swore to uphold.

“That every one efforts to make the governors adjust to the provisions of the 1999 Structure with regard to the institution of a democratically elected native authorities system have yielded no outcomes and that the continued provision of funds from the Federation Account to governors for non-existent democratically elected native governments undermines the sanctity of the 1999 Structure.”

The AGF requested the Supreme Court docket to invoke Articles 1, 4, 5, 7 and 14 of the Structure to declare that governors and state assemblies are responsibility sure to make sure democratically elected third-tier programs.

In the meantime, the Nationwide Union of Native Authorities Staff has introduced {that a} nationwide day of prayer and fasting can be held right now on the Supreme Court docket to mark the victory of native authorities autonomy.

NULGE Nationwide Chairman Hakeem Ambali made this identified in a textual content message to considered one of our correspondents on Wednesday.

“NULGE declares tomorrow (right now) a day of nationwide prayer and fasting for the native authorities’s victory on the Supreme Court docket,” the message mentioned.

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