The Senate President Godswill Akpabio and Speaker of House of Representatives Tajudeen Abbas have been charged to court over “the unlawful plan to spend N40 billion on 465 exotic and bulletproof cars for members and principal officials, and N70 billion as ‘palliatives’ for new members.”
According to report,the suit was filed by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).
In the suit number FHC/L/CS/1606/2023 filed last Friday at the Federal High Court in Lagos, the group aslo seek “an order of mandamus to direct and compel Mr Akpabio and Mr Abbas to review and reduce the N40 billion budgeted to buy 465 Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and bulletproof cars for members and principal officials.”
SERAP seeks “an order restraining Mr Akpabio and Mr Abbas from demanding or receiving the N40 billion to buy 465 SUVs and bulletproof cars for members and principal officials until an assessment of the socio-economic impact of the spending on the 137 million poor Nigerians is carried out in the public interest.”
The group wants “an order of mandamus to direct and compel Mr Akpabio and Mr Abbas to repeal the Supplementary Appropriation Act 2022 to reduce the budget for the National Assembly by N110bn to reflect the current economic realities in the country.”
“Nigerians have a right to honest and faithful performance by their public officials including lawmakers, as public officials owe a fiduciary duty to the general citizenry,” SERAP argues in the suit.
“Unless the reliefs sought are granted, the lawmakers will spend the N110bn, and the travesty, and apparent conflicts of interest and self-dealing by members of the National Assembly would continue.”
“It a fundamental breach of their fiduciary duties for members of the National Assembly to arbitrarily increase their own budget and to use the budget as a tool to satisfy the lifestyle of lawmakers,” SERAP says.
SERAP said, “While N70 billion ‘support allowance’ is budgeted for 306 new lawmakers, only N500 billion worth of palliatives is budgeted for 12 million poor Nigerians. N40 billion is also allocated to buy 465 SUVs and bulletproof cars for members and principal officials.”