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LG Autonomy: FG Erred Dragging States To Court – Okupe

Why I resigned from Labour Party — Doyin Okupe | Premium Times Nigeria

FORMER Director-General of the Labour Party (LP) Presidential Campaign Council , Dr Doyin Okupe, has faulted  Federal Government’s on its court case against states  over  local government autonomy.

Okupe, a former Presidential spokesperson ,expressed the position  in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos

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Okupe, former National Publicity Secretary of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC), described the Federal Government’s legal battle against the states  for autonomy as needless and unfortunate.

According to him, in a true federal system, there are only two component units- the federal and the states.

“We should run a true federal system in which there are two bodies coming together for a union: the Federal Government and sub-nationalities.

“The local governments are principally and completely issues of the state, it absolutely has nothing to do with the federal government and it (the idea of LG as a third tier)should be expunged from the constitution.

“Let the nation’s money be shared between the Federal government and the states. The Federal government asking for local government autonomy in a  federal system is an aberration.

“I t is becoming so sad that we seem not to know what is right and what is wrong in the country

“Then, the state government can decide to have as many local governments as it desires for grassroots development and fund it as they like,” Okupe said.

NAN recalls that the Federal Government has instituted a legal action against the governors of the 36 states of the federation at the Supreme Court over what it calls their interference in the  administration of local councils in their respective states.

The suit filed by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, is seeking full autonomy for all local government areas in the country.

In suit, the Federal Government specifically prayed the court to issue an order, prohibiting state governors from embarking on unilateral, arbitrary and unlawful dissolution of democratically elected local government leaders.

The suit is also asking for an order permitting the funds standing in the credits of local governments to be directly channelled to them from the federation account in line with the provisions of the constitution as against the alleged unlawful joint accounts created by governors.

FG also prayed the Supreme Court for an order stopping governors from further constituting caretaker committees to run the affairs of local governments as against the constitutionally recognized and guaranteed democratic system.

It equally applied 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. (NAN)

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