Saturday, 29 March 2014

Fashola sues the federal government

The government of Governor Babatunde Fashola of
Lagos State has dragged the administration of
President Goodluck Jonathan to the Supreme Court
over illegal one percent deduction from the state’s
statutory allocation for police reform.


The Federal Government has been deducting one
percent from states’ statutory allocation since
October 2013 under the guise that the fund was
being used for police reform.

The Lagos State Government has formally filed a suit
against the Federal Government challenging the
legality of the one percent deduction from its
allocation on monthly basis, describing the move as
unconstitutional.


In the origininating summon for a declaratory
judgment filed by the Attorney General and
Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State, Ade Ipaye, at
the Supreme Court in Abuja, Nigeria, the Lagos
government is seeking a declaration that by virtue
of Section 162 (3), (4) and (5) of the constitution of
the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), it is
unlawful for the federal government to deduct at
source one percent or any other fraction or
percentage of the revenue due to Lagos State and its
Local Government Councils from the federation
account under the Allocation Revenue Act for the
purpose of funding police reforms or for any other
purpose.


The Lagos government is also seeking a declaration
that it is unlawful for the National Economic Council
or any other agency of the federation to authorise by
resolution, decision or consensus, the charge or
deduction at source by any authority or person of
any part of revenue due to Lagos State Government
and its Local Government Councils under the
Allocation Revenue Act for the purpose of funding
police reforms or for any other purpose.
The Fashola government is seeking an order
compelling the defendant (Federal Government) to
immediately reverse the unlawful deduction of one
percent or any other sum deducted from the
revenue due to Lagos State and its Local
Governments from the Federation Account and to
credit the amount so far deducted to Lagos State
Government with interest at the current Central
Bank of Nigeria minimum rediscount rate.


The state government further sought from the court
an order of perpetual injunction restraining the
defendant by itself, agent, servants or workers from
unlawful deduction of one percent or any part of the
amount due to Lagos State Government and its
Local Government Councils from the Federation
Account for purpose of funding police reform or for
any purpose whatsoever.


The Federal Government began the deduction of the
one percent from states since October while
Governor Babatunde Fashola wrote to President
Goodluck Jonathan on 12 November, 2013 imploring
him to kindly direct that the deductions in respect of
Lagos State be reversed and credited for the benefit
of the state and its local governments.
Jonathan has refused to respond to the
correspondence from Governor Fashola, which
prompted the governor, while briefing the State
House of Assembly recently, to declare his intention
to sue the federal government over the matter.


The Lagos State Government is contending the fact
that as a result of the deduction, insufficient
statutory allocation to Lagos State and its Local
Governments had reduced the ability of the state
and its Local Governments to fund their
programmes and projects.


The state government is of the view that the police
as constituted is an organ of the Federal
Government and that the constitution does not
prescribe a situation where one level of government
will impose a financial obligation on another level of
government.


It added that the National Economic Council has no
powers under the constitution of Nigeria or under
any act of the Natiobal Assembly to approve any
deduction, appropriation or expenditure from the
Federation Account or statutory allocations accruing
to the states and local governments.

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