SERAP, Others Sue Senate Over Alleged Plan To Spend N5.5bn On Cars

Channels Television  
Updated September 1, 2019

SERAP Threatens To Sue UI, AAUA Over Increased Fees

 

The socio-economic rights and accountability project SERAP, Budgit, Enough is Enough, and 6,721 concerned Nigerians have filed a lawsuit praying the Federal High court to “restrain, prevent and stop the National Assembly service commission from paying or releasing the sum of N5.550 billion budgeted for the purchase of luxury cars for principal officers of the ninth Senate.

The commission is also asking the court to restrain and stop the Senate from collecting the money until the downward review of the amount is carried out by the Senate.

The suit, filed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare supported by an affidavit of urgency, reads in part quote “a public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts with his official duties.

“Members of the National Assembly as public officials form a very tiny percentage of about 200 million Nigerians. It is public knowledge and judicially noticed that members of the Senate are still eligible to collect huge sums of money as monthly allowances and severance pay on the conclusion of their respective terms at the National Assembly.”

“It is thus rational that this matter is presently generating a lot of public concern and many Nigerians are now calling for a review of the sum proposed and budgeted for vehicles for members. In the face of glaring facts about Nigeria’s dire economic position vis-a-vis the scant allocations to critical sectors of the nation, we can only pray the Court to do substantive justice by granting our reliefs sought.”

“There is a real urgent need to assign, hear and determine this matter expeditiously. The well-being and prosperity of Nigeria require commitment and sacrifice by all and sundry. However, the plan to spend N5.550 Billion [amounting to 6.4% of Nasarawa State budget] is anything but a commitment to pursue the interest, well-being and prosperity of Nigeria and its citizens.”

“We urge the court to grant the plaintiffs’ reliefs by stopping the spending of N5.550 billion on luxury cars by the Senate and compelling the Senate to undertake a downward review of the sum proposed and budgeted, consistent with the provisions of section 57[4] of the Public Procurement Act 2007. Unless the reliefs sought are granted, the Senate will continue to benefit from the breach of the law, and at the expense of millions of Nigerians living in poverty.”

The plaintiffs want the court to determine: “Whether the plan to spend N5.550 billion to buy vehicles for principal members of the ninth Senate is not in breach of Section 57[4] of the Public Procurement Act 2007, Paragraph 1 of Code of Conduct for Public Officers [Fifth Schedule Part 1] of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 [as amended] and Oath of office [Seventh Schedule] of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999”

The plaintiffs, therefore, are seeking the following reliefs from the court:

1. A DECLARATION that the sum of N5.550 billion proposed and budgeted for purchase of vehicles for principal members of Senate [National Assembly] is in breach of Section 57[4] of the Public Procurement Act 2007, Paragraph 1, Code of Conduct for Public Officers [Fifth Schedule Part 1] of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and Oath of Office [Seventh Schedule] of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999

2. AN ORDER compelling the ninth Senate to undertake a downward review of the amount proposed and budgeted for the purchase of vehicles for principal members of the 1st Defendant in compliance with Section 57[4] of the Public Procurement Act 2007

3. AN ORDER restraining, preventing and stopping the National Assembly Service Commission from paying out or releasing the sum of N5.550 billion proposed, earmarked and budgeted for the purchase of vehicles for principal members of Senate [National Assembly] until the downward review of the amount proposed by the ninth Senate

4. AN ORDER restraining, preventing and stopping all members of the Senate from collecting or demanding the sum of N5.550 billion proposed and budgeted for the purchase of vehicles for principal members of Senate until the downward review of the amount proposed for purchase of the vehicles

5. ANY ORDER(S) that the Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstance of this suit.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.












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