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LG Autonomy: Supreme Court Reserves Judgment In FG’s Suit

The Supreme Court has reserved judgment in the suit of the Federal Government against the 36 state governors seeking full autonomy for the 774 local governments in the country.

Justice Garba Lawal told the parties in the matter that they would be communicated once the judgment is ready.

He announced the reservation of the judgment after a 7-man panel of the apex court had taken adoption of processes filed by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi, on behalf of the Federal Government and those of the 36 state governors.

At Thursday’s proceedings, the AGF asked the court to grant all the reliefs sought by the Federal Government in the suit.

The governors, through their respective state Attorneys General and Commissioner for Justice, however, opposed the request of the Federal Government and asked the court to dismiss the suit.

Fagbemi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), had on behalf of The Federal Government, initiated the legal action against the governors, primarily seeking full autonomy for local governments as three tiers of government in the country.

The AGF is praying the apex court for an order restraining state governors from unilaterally, and unlawfully dissolving democratically elected local government leaders, among others.

‘LG Autonomy Against True Federalism’

Meanwhile, Anambra State Governor Chukwuma Soludo has said that any form of autonomy for local government areas in the country is against the tenets of true federalism.

Soludo, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria from 2004 to 2009, spoke at The Platform Nigeria, a programme by Lagos-based church, Covenant Nation, to mark the 2024 Democracy Day.

He said, “Funny enough, more recently, some people are arguing for the autonomy of local governments including some APC persons, which would take Nigeria back many decades from what a true federation is about.

“There is no federal system in the world where you have three federal units. The counties in America where we copied (democracy), their local governments don’t go to the centre to collect money directly.

“Each state must have the power to design the kind of local government system they want. That is what true federalism is about.”

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