SERAP, others ask court to stop NASS N4.68bn allowance

 SERAP, others ask court to stop NASS N4.68bn allowance

Anti-corruption group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project; BudgIT and Enough is Enough Nigeria have urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to stop the National Assembly Service Commission from paying the incoming members of the 9th National Assembly N4.68bn as take-off allowance.

The suit was filed before the court in Lagos on Friday.

Joined as defendants in the suit are the Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, National Assembly Service Commission and Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission.

SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, who noted in a statement on Sunday that the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission was statutorily required to review the pay of the lawmakers in conformity with the country’s economic realities and to achieve fiscal efficiency, said the commission had failed to do the downward review of salaries and allowances of members of the National Assembly since 2007.

The groups further argued that the inability of some state governments to pay salaries of workers and pensions and the failure of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission to review and cut the salaries and allowances of members of the National Assembly was a gross violation of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution and the commission’s own Act.

In the suit, marked FHC/L/CS/943/2019, the groups sought “a declaration that the sum of N10,132,000:00 and N9,926,062.5 allocated to each senator and member of the House of Representatives respectively as furniture and accommodation allowance was in breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers (Fifth Schedule Part 1) of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999, oath of office (Seventh Schedule) of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 and Section 6(1)of the RMAFC Act 2004.

“A declaration that the prescription of the sum of N10,132,000.00 and N9,926,062.5 for each senator and member of the House of Representatives respectively as furniture and accommodation allowance by the Revenue Allocation Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission was in breach of Section 70 of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 and Section 6[1][b][c][d] of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission Act 2004.

“An order compelling the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission to review and reduce the amount prescribed for each senator and member of the House of Representatives respectively as furniture and accommodation allowance in accordance with Section 6[1] of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission Act 2004.”

Ayomide Oyewole

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