Autonomy: Adamawa moves to stop FG from deducting states’ allocations as S/court delivers judgement

Fintiri and Tinubu.
Fintiri and Tinubu.
Autonomy: Adamawa moves to stop FG from deducting states’ allocations as S/court delivers judgement

• Seeks Interpretation of section 162 of Nigeria’s constitution

As Nigeria’s apex court delivers judgement today on the contentious issue of local government autonomy, the Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri led Adamawa State government has filed a lawsuit before the supreme Court seeking to know whether the federal government has the locus to deduct allocations to state governments.

The Nigerian government had filed a suit at the Supreme Court against governors of the 36 states.


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In the suit marked SC/CV/343/2024, the federal government is seeking full autonomy for the country’s 774 local governments.

The federal government is also asking for an order preventing the governors from arbitrarily dissolving democratically elected councils.

In the suit filed by Lateef Fagbemi, attorney-general of the federation (AGF) and minister of justice, the federal government also requested the supreme court to authorise the direct transfer of funds from the federation account to local governments — in accordance with the constitution.

The suit is hinged on 27 grounds; “That the constitution of Nigeria recognizes federal, states and local governments as three tiers of government and that the three recognized tiers of government draw funds for their operation and functioning from the federation account created by the constitution,” the originating summons reads.

“That by the provisions of the constitution, there must be a democratically elected local government system and that the constitution has not made provisions for any other systems of governance at the local government level other than democratically elected local government system.

“That in the face of the clear provisions of the constitution, the governors have failed and refused to put in place a democratically elected local government system even where no state of emergency has been declared to warrant the suspension of democratic institutions in the state.

“That the failure of the governors to put democratically elected local government system in place is a deliberate subversion of the 1999 Constitution which they and the President have sworn to uphold.

“That all efforts to make the governors comply with the dictates of the 1999 Constitution in terms of putting in place a democratically elected local government system, has not yielded any result and that to continue to disburse funds from the federation account to governors for non existing democratically elected local governments is to undermine the sanctity of the 1999 constitution.”

The federal government asked the apex court to invoke sections 1, 4, 5, 7 and 14 of the constitution to declare that the governors and state houses of assembly are under obligation to ensure democratically elected systems at the third tier.

But a statement signed by Humwashi Wonosikou, the chief press secretary to governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri made available to newsmen on Wednesday, noted that the state government has approached the apex court to know whether the federal government has the remit to deduct funds in flagrant disregard to the extent laws of the land.

“The Adamawa State Government is seeking the Supreme Court’s interpretation of Section 162 (1), (2) and (3) of the Constitution regarding the distribution of revenue from the Federation Account,” the statement said.

Other contentious issues which the state government want the apex court to resolve include;

“The distribution of the entire sum in the Federation Account among all levels of government without deductions, except as permitted by law.

“The President complies strictly with the Constitution in managing and distributing revenue.

“All revenue collected, except those exempted by the Constitution, must be paid into the Federation Account for distribution to all tiers of government.

“The Federal Government has no discretion to withhold or deduct revenue for any purpose not expressly permitted by the Constitution,”

The state government also seeks the supreme Court to declare that, the Federal Government must distribute the entire revenue from the Federation Account without deductions, except as permitted by law, to declare that any deductions or withholdings made without constitutional backing are unconstitutional and to declare that the Federal Government’s discretion to manage revenue is limited to only what is expressly permitted by the Constitution.

The State Government also seeks a strict interpretation of the Constitution to ensure that revenue distribution is done in a transparent and constitutional manner, without arbitrary deductions or withholdings by the Federal Government.



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