Breaking: S’Court orders direct FAAC payments to LGs, outlaws TICs

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The Supreme Court of Nigeria 

The Supreme Court has ordered that, henceforth, the monthly FAAC allocations meant for local governments in the country must be paid directly into the LGs’ accounts.

Delivering judgment on Thursday, Justice Emmanuel Agim, who led a seven-member panel of justices of the apex court, also barred the 36 governors from receiving, tampering or withholding funds meant for the local governments.

The apex court also stopped state governors from dissolving democratically elected LG officials, and constituting transitions implementation committees (TICs)!in their place, stressing that doing so breached the 1999 Constitution.

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“Henceforth, no more payment of the Local Government Area allocations to state governments’ accounts,” the apex court held.

The Federal Government had approached the Supreme Court with a suit seeking to compel governors of the 36 states of the federation to grant full autonomy to their respective local governments.

The suit, marked SC/CV/343/2024, was filed by the  Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), on behalf of the Federal Government.

The FG had urged the apex court to issue “an order prohibiting state governors from unilateral, arbitrary and unlawful dissolution of democratically elected leaders of local governments.”

In the suit predicated on 27 grounds, the Federal Government accused the state governors of gross misconduct and abuse of power.

The FG, in the originating summons, prayed the Supreme Court to make an order expressly stating that funds standing to the credit of local governments from the Federation Account should be paid directly to the local governments rather than through the state governments.

The justice minister also prayed for “an order of injunction restraining the governors, their agents and privies from receiving, spending or tampering with funds released from the Federation Account for the benefits of local governments when no democratically elected local government system is put in place in the states.”

The FG further sought “an order stopping governors from constituting caretaker committees to run the affairs of local governments as against the Constitutionally recognised and guaranteed democratically system.”

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