Legal Action Threatens Lagos LG Funds | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Legal Action Threatens Lagos LG Funds

Court Grants Sylva's Ex-Speech Writer Bail
Posted: Jun 30, 2016 at 6:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Chukwudi Nweje Lagos

Local Government administration in Lagos State may be grounded anytime soon if the prayers of the National Conscience Party (NCP), for an order of mandamus to stop disbursement of funds to the local government areas is granted.

The party said in Lagos, on Wednesday, that it is unlawful to fund an illegally constituted body from the federation account.

Comrade Ayodele Akele, who contested the 2015 governorship elections in Lagos State on the platform of the party, said it is a breach of the constitution to continue to release Lagos Local State Governments funds to the State Government because the local governments councils are not democratically elected. He argued that the funds are consistently looted because of the absence of a democratically elected council.

“We discovered that local governments are comfortable looting and sharing the allocations being remitted to illegal caretaker or sole administrator with nothing to show in terms of development.

“Hence we are heading to court to file an order of mandamus to stop further remittance to illegal caretakers or sole administrators heading the local governments and that the money be kept in a suspense account and should only be released after a democratically elected leadership takes over the governance of Local governments,” Akele said.

The party said that since the Lagos State Government has failed conduct elections at the local levels, there is no justification for continued funding of the local government areas.

Independent reports that Section 7 (1) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, guaranteed a system of democratically elected local governments.

It states; “The system of local government by democratically elected local government councils is under this Constitution guaranteed; and accordingly, the Government of every State shall, subject to section 8 of this Constitution, ensure their existence under a Law which provides for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils.”

Independent also reports that the Federal, State and Local Governments periodically share funds from the Federation Account of the Country.

In fact, Section 162 (5) of the constitution said that: “The amount standing to the credit of local government councils in the Federation Account shall also be allocated to the State for the benefit of their local government councils on such terms and in such manner as may be prescribed by the National Assembly.”

It could be recalled that then President Obasanjo withheld Lagos State local government allocations following the creation of 36 additional local government areas by the then Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration in the state.

The Obasanjo-led administration had then argued that the Lagos state government violated the 1999 constitution by creating the Local governments which were not listed in Part I of the First Schedule to 1999 Constitution and directed the Lagos government to revert to the 20 listed local governments. The refusal of Lagos state to revert to 20 local governments forced the Obasanjo administration to seize the local government allocations, which it held unto for four years, even after Lagos state rechristened the new local governments’ local area development councils (LCDAs).