Header Ads


Supreme Court Orders Immediate Direct Payment Of LG Allocations

*Supreme Court Grants LG Financial Autonomy

*Supreme Court Bars FG From Paying Allocations To LGs With Unelected Officials

* Supreme Court Bars Govs From Sacking LG Chairmen


The Supreme Court has granted financial autonomy to the 774 local government councils in the country.


In a landmark judgement on Thursday, the apex court ordered the Federal Government to immediately start the direct payment of local government funds to the latter’s exclusive accounts.

In its lead judgement read by Justice Emmanuel Agim, the apex court scolded the decades-long refusal of the state government on financial autonomy for local governments.

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).

The apex court directed that Local Government allocations from the Federation Account should be paid directly to them henceforth, and not to state government coffers.

Justice Agim pointed out that the state governors’ retention of the monies meant for the Local Governments truncates the latter’s activities.

Justice Agim ordered the immediate compliance of the judgement, stating that no state government should be paid monies meant for Local Governments.

LG Autonomy At Last!

There are 774 local government areas in the country but the efficiency of the third tier of government has been hampered by the weight of some controlling and overbearing governors who have been accused of mismanaging funds meant for the administration of local governments.

In the last few months, calls for local government autonomy have increased in Nigeria. President Bola Tinubu also supported the calls. In May, the Federal Government, through the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi, sued the 36 state governors over alleged misconduct of local government funds.

credit icon

Currently, the Federal Government gets 52.68%, and states get 26.72%. In comparison, LGs get 20.60% of the country’s monthly revenue allocated by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) which operates under the Presidency, and disbursed by the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC).

Interestingly, LG funds are paid into a joint account operated by state governments and local governments in their domains.

In the suit filed by AGF, the Federal Government sought an order preventing the governors from arbitrarily dissolving democratically elected councils. The suit by the AGF was on 27 grounds.

The 36 state governors, defendants in the suit, opposed the AGF for instituting the case.

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

The Supreme Court declared on Thursday that it is unconstitutional for state governors to hold funds allocated for local government administrations.

The seven-man panel, in the judgment delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, declared that the 774 local government councils in the country should manage their funds themselves.

The apex court held that the power of the government is portioned into three arms of government, the federal, the state and the local government.

The court further declared that a state government has no power to elect a caretaker committee and a local government council is only recognisable with a democratically elected government.

“A democratically elected local government is sacrosanct and non-negotiable,” the court said.

The court ruled that state governments are perpetuating a dangerous trend by refusing to allow democratically elected local government councils to function, instead appointing their loyalists who can only be removed by them.

Justice Agim dismissed the objections filed by state governors.

The Attorney General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Federal Government, seeking to grant full autonomy and direct funding to all 774 local government councils in the country.

The 36 state governments, through their attorneys general, filed a counterclaim, arguing that the Supreme Court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the case.


In Thursday’s ruling, Justice Agim affirmed that the AGF has the legal authority to initiate the lawsuit and uphold the constitution.

Justice Agim said, “I hold that the plaintiff’s request is hereby approved and all the reliefs granted.”

The Supreme Court has held that it is illegal for Governors to dissolve democratically elected Local Governments.

It orders the Federal Government to henceforth withhold allocations to Local Governments governed by unelected officials appointed by the Governor.

The apex court also barred the Federal Government from further paying LG allocations through the State Governments since the practice has been abused by Governors, who retain the funds and utilise them as they please to the detriment of the LGA for which the monies are meant.

The pronouncements were made in the ongoing judgment of the Supreme Court in the LG autonomy suit filed by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi SAN on behalf of the the Fed Govt.

No comments