Local Government autonomy; Court Rule in favour of LGA

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Federal Capital Territory (FCT) high Court has declared that Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Nigeria has the power to exercise the functions assigned to them under the constitution without National Assembly enactment.

Justice Charles Agbaza said the fact that the National Assembly has not enact a law to outline functions for the area councils as demands for under Section 7(5) of the Constitution does not divest them of their primary functions already listed in the Constitution.

The pronouncement followed a suit by an Abuja-based lawyer, Ogwu, James Onoja, challenging the move by the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, and the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) to replace the road named after him by the Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, with ‘Amma Pepple Crescent’.

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The saod, “The constitution had already recognised and indeed accorded those functions as functions of the local government areas or area council; the law to be enacted is mainly to comply with the provisions of the constitution as the constitution had already under the fourth schedule assigned or accorded the local government councils or area councils the function which include the naming of streets and roads. See Section 1(g) of the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution,” .

Justice Agbaza also top the FCDA and its agencies from further tampering with the street named after Onoja.

Onoja had requested the court’s to determined on whether the FCDA and AMMC or any other department of the Federal Capital has the powers to demolish, dismantle or destroy street posts and signs mounted by AMAC in view of the provisions of Sections 7, 303, 328, First Schedule, Part II and Paragraph (g) of the Fourth Schedule to the 1999 Constitution.

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