Rivers crisis: Fubara has no right to withhold LG funds, says SAN

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Wahab Shittu, has said that the governor of Rivers State, Siminalayi Fubara has no constitutional authority to withhold the state’s local government funds.

Recall that the state chapter of the Association of Local Government Areas of Nigeria had, last week, accused Fubara of withholding funds meant for the 23 LGs in the state.

The association lamented that the governor’s action had denied members of their functions in the administration of the third tier of government.

Speaking on the development during an appearance on Tuesday’s edition of Channels Television’s Politics Today, Shittu said Fubara’s action contravened the country’s laws.

He said, “I can say for free that Governor Fubara of Rivers State has no constitutional powers to withhold local government funds. The local government tier of government is recognised by Section 7 of the Constitution.”

He added that the constitution acknowledged the framework of democratically elected local government councils, saying that it mandates that each state must enact a corresponding law.

“The constitution recognises the system of democratically elected local government council areas and mandates that each state provides a corresponding law. In the case of Lagos State, we have the Local Government Administration Law, which regulates the establishment, structure, finances, and other related aspects.

 

“So, clearly, Governor Fubara has no right under the law to withhold local government funds of Ahoada Local Government or any other local government,” he concluded.


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