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LG autonomy: Ondo Assembly files to join FG’s suit

The Ondo State House of Assembly has made a formal application to the Supreme Court to be included as defendants in the ongoing federal case concerning local government autonomy.

The application was filed on June 11, 2024, by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, on behalf of the Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Olamide Oladiji, and the House of Assembly itself.

The suit, initiated by the Attorney-General of the Federation on May 20, 2024, named all 36 states as defendants.

The Ondo State Assembly seeks to be added as the 37th and 38th defendants, arguing that their legislative responsibilities are directly impacted by the case’s outcome.

In their affidavit, the Assembly emphasized their constitutional role in lawmaking for Ondo State, referencing Sections 4(7), 7, and 162 of the 1999 Constitution.

They cited existing state laws, such as the Local Government System, Establishment and Administration of Local Government Law of Ondo State, Cap. 87, Laws of Ondo State, 2006, and the Ondo State (Creation of Local Governments) Law, 2023, as evidence of their vested interest in the matter.

“The Applicants are seeking to join the suit as necessary parties in view of the peculiar reliefs being sought and as pertaining to the constitutional rights and functions of the Applicants,” the affidavit stated.

Speaker Olamide Oladiji, who elaborated on the necessity of their involvement, said “The reliefs being sought in this case, if granted, would directly affect our constitutional functions and activities. It is only just and fair that we are involved and heard.”

The assembly contended that the federal government’s reliefs could undermine their statutory duties, particularly regarding the allocation and distribution of public revenue to local councils.

“Our constitutional powers, rights, and duties must not be ousted without our input,” Oladiji added.

They argue that their participation will enable a more comprehensive resolution of the issues at hand.

“Joining the Applicants would enable an effective and effectual determination of the fundamental issues being raised in this case,” the affidavit asserts.

The application has been served to the Attorney-General of the Federation, and the Supreme Court is set to hear the case on June 14, 2024.


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