LG Autonomy: CSOs Slam FG Over Lagos Inclusion In Suit Against States

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The Federal Government has been criticized for including Lagos State in a suit instituted against the 36 state governments over local government autonomy.

Recall the Federal Government recently instituted legal action against the governors of the 36 states of the federation at the Supreme Court over alleged misconduct in the administration of Local Government Areas.

The Convener, Campaign for Dignity in Governance – Shamshudeen Hamzat disagreed with the Federal Government in a press conference addressed on Tuesday in Abuja.

The Civil Society Organisation said it was dissatisfied over the inclusion of Lagos State in the suit despite operating autonomous local government administration over the years.

Hamzat told journalists that it was disappointing the government at the center failed to take cognizance of the system of local government administration in Lagos State but chose to lump them up in one place with other states.

“It is appalling that the Federal will lump Lagos together with other states stifling their local government areas over the years, it clearly shows the Attorney General or his handlers did not do their homework very well, so we are disappointed.

“That’s why we are opposing the inclusion of Lagos in that suit, and if you watch closely you would have noticed that the local government system in Lagos ran freely before now and since the emergence of Babajide Sanwo=Olu as the Governor of Lagos state that tier of the government has become far better in administrative independence.

“The Federal Government should as a matter of urgency expunge Lagos state from that suit. We also support our performing governor, Mr. Sanwo-Olu for frowning at the inclusion of the state in the suit. The government at the center must be seen to do the right thing at all times,” Hamzat said.

Meanwhile, speaking on the suit, Governor Sanwo-Olu said it was a legal anomaly for the federal government to join Lagos in the Supreme Court matter, decades after the local governments in the state had been enjoying full autonomy.

The governor who spoke in support of the suit, however, said the attorney-general of the federation should have identified those that were not in compliance with the law before filing a blanket lawsuit against all states.

The governor spoke at the ongoing Justice Reform Summit organized by Lagos State Judiciary with the theme: “Enhancing the Administration of Justice for Economic Growth, Investment Protection and Security in Lagos”.

The summit, attended by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi, is being held at Marriott Hotels, Ikeja.

Sanwo-Olu said infringement on the local council autonomy was an affront to the spirit of the constitution to which the judiciary must make a clear interpretation for equity and fairness. He said a better justice system would protect the interests of parties and discourage actions limiting the efficiency of any government entity.

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