SERAP Drags NASSC to Court Over N4.68bn Allowance to Newly Elected Lawmakers

Anti-corruption group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to stop the National Assembly Service Commission (NASSC) from paying the incoming members of the 9th National Assembly N4.68bn as take-off allowance.

In a suit filed before the court in Lagos on Friday, the Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, National Assembly Service Commission and Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission were joined as defendants.

Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP’s Deputy Director in a statement on Sunday noted 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 but the commission had failed to do the downward review of salaries and allowances of members of the National Assembly since 2007.

SERA further noted 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 pryed that the court declare 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.

It, therefore, seek for 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 praying that the court give an order restraining, preventing and stopping the National Assembly Service Commission from paying the sum to lawmakers 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.

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