S’court orders FG to pay allocations directly to LGs, bars governors from dissolving councils

The supreme court has ruled that the federal government should henceforth pay allocations directly to local government councils from the federation account.

Delivering judgment in the suit on Thursday, a seven-member panel of justices held that state governments have continued to abuse their powers by retaining and using the funds meant for LGAs.

The apex court also ordered the federal government to withhold allocations of LGs governed by unelected officials appointed by the governor.

Emmanuel Agim, who read the lead judgment, said states are mandated to ensure that their local government councils are democratically elected, ⁠and that governors cannot use their powers to dissolve democratically elected local government councils.

“The amount standing to the credit of local government councils must be paid by the federation to the local government councils and not by any other person or body,” the judge said.

“The said amount must be paid to local government councils that are democratically elected.

“An order of injunction is hereby granted restraining the defendants from collecting funds belonging to the local government councils when no democratically elected local government councils are in place.

“An order that henceforth no state government should be paid monies standing to the credit of the local government councils.

“An order for immediate enforcement and compliance with these orders by the state governments and successive governments henceforth.”

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