Saturday 15 June 2024

Adeleke opposes LG autonomy.... By Daniel Ogunsanwo


Details have emerged that Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State is fighting tooth and nail to frustrate the effort of the federal government to grant autonomy to the local government in the country.

This revelation was confirmed by the media office of the Attorney General of Osun State, Mr Wole Jimi-Bada, who gave update about the appearance of the state Attorney General at the apex court on Thursday when the suit, marked SC/CV/343/2024, seeking full autonomy for the 774 local governments in the country, came up for hearing.

According to the media office, "Osun State Legal Team which includes the Special Adviser to the Governor on Legal Matters, Barr Nurudeen Kareem, Barr Jide Obisakin and Barr John Opaoluwa, has filed a Notice of Preliminary Objection challenging the competence of the suit."

Although the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), had on behalf of the federal government sued the 36 states over the manner the governors are running the local governments' funds, a state like Lagos had expressed its readiness to see the suit come to reality.

Speaking in support of the suit, Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu said the infringement on the local council autonomy was an insult to the spirit of the constitution to which the judiciary must make a clear interpretation for equity and fairness.

He said, "It is interesting to read the news that the Honourable Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation has sued all the 36 states because Governors did not give autonomy to the third tier of government. The only mistake, which I am going to tell our Attorney General, is that some of us are in compliance."

According to Sanwo-olu, the local governments in Lagos had been enjoying full autonomy for decades.

Osun State is one of the states in the federation which are illegally withholding funds for local governments in their jurisdiction in contravention of Section 7 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

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