A federal high court in Abuja has dismissed the suit of state governors opposing the payment of statutory allocation directly to the local governments.
Justice Inyang Ekwo approved the position of the federal government and Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) that the joint state/local government account is illegal.
The Nigerian Governors Forum has sued federal government and the intelligence agency for allegedly illegally interfering in the state/local government joint account which is enshrined in the 1999 constitution.
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Justice Ekwo dismissed the suit for lacking in merit.
The judge held that upon studying the provisions of the NFIU’s guidelines, he was unable to see where the provisions contradict or conflict with the provision of sections 7 sub-sections 1 and 6 (a) and (b) of the constitution.
According to him, the sections only reduced the cash local governments are able to withdraw from the joint account. The sections say that the cash they are able to withdraw should not exceed 500,000 naira daily.
On the 6th of May, 2019, NFIU had issued guidelines to stimulate the reduction of crime vulnerabilities created by cash withdrawals from local government funds across the country, beginning from 1st June, 2019.
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