Federal and state legislators have been accused of aiding governors to squander funds meant for development of councils and empowerment of the people.
A non-governmental organisation, Save Local Government Council Autonomy Group, said the action was inimical to the development of the various councils and the nation and called on Nigerians to join forces to stop the ‘legislative fraud’ used to pilfer council resources by governors and their cohorts.
Ngozika Ihuoma, Executive Secretary of the group, at the group’s inaugural press conference in Abuja said there’s an urgent need to stop forthwith the illegality perpetrated by the Governors through the legal endorsement by the federal and state houses of assemblies to rob the councils of over 87% of their resources.
"The executive arm at both the federal and state levels embarked on frivolous spending of local government funds using these fraudulent legislation thereby making the Local government Funds their Miscellaneous expenses," has said.
He pointed out that the action runs contrary to the provision of the 1999 Constitution which empowers Local Government Areas as a third tier of government and recognized LG role in the economic and infrastructural development of the council has persisted since the dawn of this democracy.
"We have observed that the Legislature at both the federal and state levels, have embarked on ‘legislative fraud’ when it comes to the issue of Local Government Fund. First was the Source Deduction by the Federal Government, which diverted over 83% of Local Government Fund to NPEC form 1994 – 2002."
He called on the anti-graft agencies to move in arrest, and prosecute all culpable persons as the joint allocation account remains the criminal source and strength of the governors’ action and conversion of local government funds into miscellaneous funds.