Exempt Lagos, we comply with LG autonomy, Sanwo-Olu tells AGF

The Lagos state governor, Babajide  Sanwo-Olu, Tuesday  said the state government should have been left out of the legal action instituted by the federal government against 36 governors at the Supreme Court over alleged misconduct in the administration of local governments.

He said it was a legal anomaly for the federal government to join Lagos in the Supreme Court, decades after the local governments in the state had been enjoying full autonomy.

Sanwo-Olu, who spoke in support of the suit added that the Attorney General of the Federation should have identified those  states that were not in compliance with the law before filing a blanket lawsuit against all states.

The governor spoke at the on-going Justice Reform Summit organised by Lagos state judiciary with the theme: “Enhancing the Administration of Justice for Economic Growth, Investment Protection and Security in Lagos.”

The summit, attended by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi, is being held at Marriott Hotels, Ikeja.

Sanwo-Olu said infringement on the local council autonomy was an affront to the spirit of the constitution to which the judiciary must make a clear interpretation for equity and fairness. He added that a better justice system would protect the interests of parties and discourage actions limiting efficiency of any government entity.

He said: “It is interesting to read the news that the Honorable Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation has sued all the 36 states because governors did not give autonomy to the third tier of government. The only mistake, which I am going to tell our Attorney General, is that some of us are in compliance.

“The Attorney General should have done his due diligence to identify which states are not in compliance, so that we don’t sue all the 36 states together. You can determine which states are not violating the constitution. If three, four or five states are in compliance, then you can sue the 31 states violating autonomy of the local governments. That is part of the work that we need to do,” he said.