Some anti-corruption groups have filed a suit against the payment of over N4.68 billion as ‘welcome package’ to the incoming members of the 9th National Assembly.
In the suit filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos at the weekend, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), BudgIT and Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE), are asking the court to restrain, prevent and stop the National Assembly Service Commission from paying individually and/or collectively, the ‘welcome package.’
The defendants in the suit are the Senate president, Speaker of the House of Representatives, National Assembly Service Commission and the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
The plaintiffs are also seeking an order restraining, preventing and stopping all members of the Senate and the House of Representatives from collecting or demanding N10,132,000:00 and N9,926,062.5 as furniture and accommodation allowance due to each of them until the downward review of the pay and allowances of the lawmakers by the RMAFC.
“The RMAFC has failed to do any downward review of salaries and allowances of members of the National Assembly since 2007 in spite of the economic downturn in Nigeria.
“Yet, the commission is statutorily required to review the pay of the lawmakers, in conformity with the country’s economic realities and to achieve fiscal efficiency,” the groups lamented.
The plaintiffs are also seeking, among other reliefs, a declaration that the N10,132,000:00 and N9,926,062.5 allotted to each senator and member of the House of Representatives as furniture and accommodation allowances are in breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers.
They further seek an order of court compelling the RMAFC to review and reduce the amount prescribed for each senator and member of the House of Representatives as furniture and accommodation allowances in accordance with Section 6 of the RMAFC Act 2004.
Meanwhile, a group of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) led by Say No Campaign Nigeria, have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to shop for a credible and patriotic Nigerian for the position of Attorney-General of the Federation in his second term in office.
The CSOs made the demand via an open letter addressed to the president on Thursday, June 6.
They also hailed the president for his achievements in the fight against corruption in the last four years, but pointed out that, one of the greatest disappointments in the fight against corruption in his first term was from the office of the immediate past AGF, Abubakar Malami, SAN.
“The actions and in actions of the last occupant of the office, Mr Abubakar Malami, have continued to bring shame to the acclaimed anti-corruption campaign of the administration and huge losses to Nigeria,” the groups stated.
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