LG Autonomy: Sanwo-Olu Cries Foul Over Federal Government’s Lawsuit Against Lagos Misguided

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In a recent statement, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State criticized the inclusion of Lagos in a legal action brought by the Federal Government against Governors regarding the autonomy of Local Governments. Speaking at the ongoing Justice Reform Summit organized by the Lagos State Judiciary, Governor Sanwo-Olu expressed his belief that the Federal Government’s move was based on an error.

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Governor Sanwo-Olu acknowledged the importance of the lawsuit but stressed that Lagos, having long granted autonomy to its Local Governments, should have been excluded from the legal action. He suggested that the Attorney General of the Federation should have conducted a thorough assessment to identify states not in compliance before initiating a blanket lawsuit against all 36 states.

The Governor emphasized the significance of upholding local council autonomy, stating that any encroachment upon it would contradict the spirit of the constitution. He called for a clear interpretation of the law by the judiciary to ensure equity and fairness.

Additionally, Governor Sanwo-Olu highlighted the importance of judicial reform for economic growth and investment protection. He praised the Lagos judiciary for its exemplary role in justice development and urged judges and law officers to strive for excellence in dispensing justice.

Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Kayode Ariwoola, commended the Lagos judiciary for its leadership in justice development, noting that other jurisdictions often follow its example. Representing the Federal Government, Mr. Fernandez Marcos-Obiene pledged continued support for reforms aimed at enhancing public trust in the judiciary.

The summit, which focuses on improving the administration of justice for economic growth and security, also featured discussions on the role of the judiciary in promoting peace and order in society. Notable speakers included the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau, and Lagos State Attorney General, Lawal Pedro, SAN.

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