The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to stop the continued payment of N14.2 million salary by the National Assembly to Senator Joshua Dariye.
Dariye who is a former governor of Plateau State is currently serving a 10-year jail term at the Kije Prison in Abuja for embezzling N1.1bn ecological funds belonging to Plateau State while in office.
In a statement on Sunday by SERAP’s Senior Legal Adviser, Ms Bamisope Adeyanju, the organisation says the payment of the lawmaker’s salary while in prison for corruption violates the law.
“This action undermines the rule of law and is a great moral failure because it sends a message that corruption pays—it’s the opposite of Nigerian Constitutional principles and international obligations,” Adeyanju said.
SERAP in the suit number FHC/L/CS/2146/18 filed last Friday accused the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki and the National Assembly Service Commission of attempting to override Nigerian law and the judgment.
It said, “By paying Mr Dariye’s allowances while in prison, Mr Saraki and the National Assembly Service Commission have destroyed the efficacy and purpose of Mr Dariye’s conviction and have brought the rule of law and administration of justice into disrepute.
“SERAP and the public are alarmed by the action of Mr Saraki and the National Assembly Service Commission and they ought to be restrained by this Honourable Court.”
The anti-corruption group appealed to the court to compel the Senate President and NASS Service Commission to immediately stop the payment of the convicted lawmaker.
To SERAP, “restraining them would send a clear message to Nigerian elected officials that corruption does not pay and contribute to promoting accountability and fostering public trust and confidence in Nigeria’s democracy, the rule of law and the governance system.”