N13.5million allowance: SERAP wants court to order senators to make refund
Following revelations by Senator Shehu Sani of a N13.5 million monthly allowance paid to senators, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to compel senate president Bukola Saraki as well as other senators to refund the said monies and stop further payments being made.
SERAP in a suit filed by Ms Bamisope Adeyanju read in part: “The sum of N13.5 Million shared by the Senate President and other senators monthly is neither part of their salaries and allowances as approved for them by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) nor contained in the Appropriations Act. This is further strengthened by the declaration of the RMAFC that the said sum is not known to the RMAFC and therefore illegal.”
“Furthermore the provisions of the Certain Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders (Salaries and Allowances) (Amendments) Act 2008 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Remuneration Act’) do not contain the said running cost enjoyed by the Senate President and other senators.”
“Section 70 of the Constitution is mandatory and makes no room for discretionary act. When such provision is breached as in the instant case there is no other option than to hold that the Defendants’ action is illegal, unconstitutional and unjustified having contravened the sacrosanct provisions of the grundnorm and other relevant statutes herein cited.”
“The Senate President and his colleagues in the Senate allot to themselves the sum of N13.5 Million monthly aside their monthly salaries and allowances as running cost since assuming office. SERAP learnt of this illegal act Sen. Shehu Sani, the senator representing Kaduna Central revealed that he and his colleagues receive N13.5 Million monthly aside their salaries and allowances. The Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), the constitutional body responsible for fixing public officials’ salaries and allowances, has declared the said sum of N13.5 Million running cost of the Senate President and other senators as illegal.”
“The Senate President and other senators allotting to themselves the sum of N13.5 Million monthly runs afoul of the law and as such their act amounts to illegality, and is unconstitutional and unjustified.”
Accordingly, SERAP is seeking court orders to; direct the Defendants to stop allotting the sum of N13.5 Million to each senator per month as running cost, the said sum being illegal and unconstitutional, compell the 2nd Defendant to call for immediate investigation by the appropriate federal agency on the use to which the said sum was put to by the 1st Defendant and his colleagues amongst other prayers.