Nigerian Senate

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP); BudgIT and Enough is Enough Nigeria has 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 groups made this known in a statement released by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, on Sunday.

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According to the statement, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) was statutorily required to review the pay of the lawmakers in conformity with the country’s economic realities and fiscal efficiency.

The groups added that the commission had failed to do the downward review of salaries and allowances of members of the National Assembly since 2007.

Concise News understands that 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.

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]16 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.”

It also sought “an order restraining, preventing and stopping the National Assembly Service Commission from paying the sum of N10,132,000:00 and N9,926,062.5 to each senator and member of the House of Representatives respectively as furniture and accommodation allowance until the downward review of the pay and allowances of the members of the 1st and 2nd defendants by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission.

“An order restraining, preventing and stopping all members of the Senate and the House of Representatives from collecting or demanding the sum of N10,132,000.00 and N9,926,062.50 as furniture and accommodation allowance due to each senator and member of the House of Representatives respectively until the downward review of the pay and allowances of the members of the 1st and 2nd defendants by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission.”