Supreme Court grants full financial autonomy to 774 local government areas

The Supreme Court of Nigeria has ruled that the 774 local government areas (LGAs) be given full financial autonomy across the federation.

A seven-man panel of Supreme Court Justices led by Justice Garba Lawal delivered the ruling on Thursday, July 11, 2024.

The apex court initially heard the suit between the federal and state governments on the autonomy of local governments on June 13 and reserved its judgment.

The suit, marked SC/CV/343/2024, was filed by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), and sought full autonomy and direct fund allocation to the 774 local government areas (LGAs) in the country.

Fagbemi requested the Supreme Court to order that funds for LGAs managed by caretaker committees appointed by governors, rather than elected chairmen and councillors, be withheld.

However, the 36 state governors, represented by their attorneys general, opposed the suit on various grounds, including their argument that the Supreme Court lacks jurisdiction to hear the case.

In its ruling on Thursday, the Supreme Court ordered that full financial autonomy be granted to the LGAs, recognizing them as an independent segment of the federation.



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