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Fashola Takes Jonathan To Supreme Court

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Gov-Babatunde-Fashola1The 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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