This paper examines the legality of Local Council Development Areas and similar bodies created by State Governments in Nigeria. The paper considers if the creation of Local Council Development Areas is in compliance with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It shows that while some State Governments renamed newly created Local Government Areas as Local Council Development Areas, some created Local Council Development Areas from the onset in a bid to avoid full compliance with the procedure stipulated by the Constitution for creation of Local Government Areas. It argues that although the State Government has constitutional powers to create Local Government Areas, it does not have the power to create Local Council Development Areas. This is because Local Council Development Areas are not listed in the Constitution of Nigeria.It considers the factors facilitating the creation of Local Council Development Areas including the failure of the Federal Government of Nigeria to challenge the creation and operation of such bodies and the reluctance of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in making a pronouncement against such illegal acts, thereby nipping it in the bud. The paper concludes that until these factors are addressed and the Federal Government rises up to its duty to defend the Constitution by challenging the illegality in the court of law, State Governments will continue to create Local Council Development Areas in violation of the provisions of the Constitution of Nigeria.
Given that legislature possess power to provide constituency services, an understanding of this function is instrumental in appraising constituency fund with respect to legislative oversight. While different nomenclatures of constituency fund exist across national cases (Pork Barrel in the United States, Constituency Development Fund in Zambia), a defining feature of its operation in Nigeria opens a vacuum to be filled to ensure probity in the management of the fund. Drawing on a desk review interviews from key respondents on the one hand, and data from BudgIT reports on federal constituency projects in Nigeria on the other hand, this study examines the framework for the operation of constituency fund and analyze the extent of utilization of constituency fund in Nigeria. The study explores the use of oversight tools for effective management of constituency fund. Findings from the study showed that the modalities involved in the operation of constituency fund in Nigeria permit corruption and embezzlement of fund to hold sway. Findings also suggest relevant oversight tools such as routine oversight, audit queries etc. capable of ensuring proper and actual implementation of constituency fund.