By Sandra Umeh
Lagos – The National Conscience Party (NCP) has asked a Federal High Court to stop federal allocations to local governments in Lagos State for failure of the state to conduct council polls.
In the suit No. FHC/L/CS/198/2017 filed on its behalf by Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, the NCP argued that only elected officers were entitled to run the affairs of all local governments in Lagos State.
Defendants in the suit filed in Lagos are Lagos State, the state attorney-general and the attorney-general of the federation.
The party also seeks a declaration that Lagos State is not entitled to benefit from the federation account since it had yet to conduct local government elections.
It urged the court to stop Lagos State from distributing money accruing from the federation account to entities not recognised by the Constitution.
In a 17-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Mr Ayodele Akele, the NCP National Secretary, the party stated that Lagos State Government had been sharing revenue accruing to local governments to illegal entities.
NCP said that such entities included the local council development areas and caretaker committees.
It is seeking a declaration that only democratically constituted local government administrations are recognised under the 1999 Constitution as amended.
The party also seeks a declaration that only constitutionally recognised local government administrations can receive, appropriate, allocate, disburse or expend revenues from the federation account meant for local governments in Lagos State.
NCP equally wants the court to declare that there has not been any local government administration in Lagos State since November 2014 as well as a declaration that continued allocation of revenues from the federation account for the benefit of local governments in Lagos State since November 2014 is unconstitutional.
The NCP is asking the court to declare unconstitutional, the amendment of Section 24A of the Local Government Administration Law of Lagos State, 2003, by the state House of Assembly.
It also prays for an injunction to restrain allocation of revenues from the federation account for the benefit of councils in the state until the administrations are constitutionally constituted in the state.
The party is also seeking an order directing Lagos State to refund to the federation account, all revenues it received from the federation account for the benefit of local governments in state from November 2014.
NAN reports that the court has yet to fix a date for hearing in the suit.
A Lagos high court had in 2015 declared null and void administration of local governments in Lagos State by caretaker committees.
The high court ordered council elections in the state within 90 days.
The judgment followed a suit filed by the NCP.
Lagos State Government, however, appealed against the judgment.