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Opposition lawmakers celebrate Supreme Court Judgement on LG financial autonomy

  Opposition Federal Lawmakers Members of the House of Representatives belonging to the group known as the G60 opposition lawmakers have hailed the Supreme Court…

 

Opposition Federal Lawmakers

Members of the House of Representatives belonging to the group known as the G60 opposition lawmakers have hailed the Supreme Court ruling on financial autonomy for Local Governments.

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 appoint a caretaker committee and a local government council is only recognisable with a democratically elected government.

The judgment held that the use of a caretaker committee amounts to the state government taking control of the local government and is in violation of the 1999 Constitution.

Reacting to the ruling, the opposition lawmakers in a statement signed by their spokesperson, Hon. Ikenga Ugochinyere hailed the Supreme Court, describing the ruling as victory for democracy.

The lawmakers stated that they agree with the court 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.

They noted that it is right for the local government to receive and manage funds meant for them, and the autonomy is important for the promotion of grassroots democracy and self rule among the various diverse interests that make up the national polity.

Commending the federal government for finally succeeding in its commitment to grant independence to local governments, the Lawmakers said that the move will be meaningful to the people as their immediate affairs are not dictated by the central functionaries but managed locally by themselves.

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