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JUST IN: FG to stop funding Police, others through federation account

By News Desk

The ongoing efforts by the Federal Government to boost security across the country have suffered a major setback after a Federal High Court sitting in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja declared as unconstitutional and unlawful, deductions made by the central government from the Federation Account to fund the Nigeria Police Trust Fund scheme and other security agencies across the country.

The court also ruled that the apex government should return to Rivers State Government all its shares from earlier deductions removed from the federation account of the country.

Delivering the judgment on Wednesday, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, ruled on the Federal Government should stop deducting from the state and rather to source for the law enforcement agency’s funding elsewhere.

Mohammed’s pronouncement was on a suit filed by the Rivers State Government against the Attorney General of Federation and Minister of Justice; the Accountant General of the Federation; the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, and Federal Ministry of Finance.

Justice Mohammed noted that it was the responsibility of the central government to fund the police and not the duty of both state and local governments across the country.

Specifically, the Rivers State Government through its Attorney General had approached the court wherein it sought an order to stop the deduction of funds from the Federation Account for the funding of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund scheme.

The Governor, Nyesom Wike-led Rivers State Government had contended that it was not the responsibility of the State governments but that of the Federal Government to fund the Police.

Mohammed, while delivering his judgement, stated that by virtue of Section 162 (3) of the Nigerian Constitution, funds standing to the credit of the Federation Account can only be distributed among the Federal Government, State Governments and Local Government Councils in each State of Nigeria and not directly to any agency of the Federal Government including the Nigeria Police Force.

Some of the deductions were said to have been transferred to the Police Trust Fund, a fund that was setup to provide a legal framework for the management and control of a special intervention fund for training and retraining of personnel of the Nigeria Police Force and for the provision of state-of-the-art security equipment, and other related facilities for the improvement of the skills of the officers of the Nigeria Police Force including its auxiliary staff in Nigeria and abroad.

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