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Security Votes: Court Strikes Out Suit Against 36 Govs, Fct Minister

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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Tuesday struck out a suit seeking to stop the 36 state governors and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, minister from deducting monies from statutory allocation as security votes.

Justice Adamu Bello threw out the suit while delivering judgment in a case filed by a constitution lawyer, Nkereuwem Akpan, against the governors and the FCT minister in 2010.

Akpan had urged the court to determine, by virtue of Sections 16(2) and 120 of the 1999 Constitution, Cap C 23, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, if the governors had the power without lawful authority, to deduct monies as security votes from the Federation Account.

In his judgment, Bello held that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

He said that the governors and the minister of the FCT were neither the federal government nor its agencies and the court had no authority to determine the case.

The judge held that if the defendants were the federal government or its agencies, the court could entertain the case.

“Though the plaintiff has the locus standi to institute the case against the defendants, the court can only entertain a suit involving the federal government and its agencies,” Bello said.

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He said that the suit involved state governors and the minister of FCT which had their own jurisdictions.

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