LG Autonomy Not An Issue, Finances Managed Independently — Gombe Faults FG’s Suit

Gombe State Commissioner for Justice, Zubair Umar, has said that the body of State Attorney Generals will be challenging the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to entertain the recent suit filed by the Federal Government against the 36 States.

Recall that the Federal Government, in a suit filed by the Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi is urging the Supreme Court to enforce the autonomy of the local governments in the country.

The Federal Government wants the Supreme Court to stop State Governors from appointing caretaker committees to manage local governments instead of conducting elections to have local government chairmen and councillors in place.

Fagbemi, who is the Attorney-General of the Federation wants the Supreme Court to declare that funds due to Local Government from the Federation Account should be paid directly to them rather than through the state.

The case came up for the first time on May 30 and was adjourned till June 13 for hearing.

READ ALSO: LG Autonomy: S’Court Gives State Govs Seven Days Ultimatum To File Defence

The apex court gave the states seven days to file their defence, while the AGF should file his reply within two days.

Speaking on Sunday about Gombe’s position on the lawsuit, he disclosed that the attorney generals, under the aegis of the Body of Attorney Generals, will be challenging the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to entertain the case.

Umar said, “The position of the Body of States Attorney Generals is that we are challenging the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to try the case of the Federal Government against state governments.”

He further contended that the Federal Government is wrong for including Gombe in the suit because, according to him, Local Government in Gombe State already enjoy full autonomy.

“On the side of Gombe State, local government autonomy is a non-issue because our local government councils are democratically elected, and they independently manage their finances that go directly into their accounts. They enjoy unfettered financial autonomy,” the Attorney-General said.