Lawyers sue NASS over N13.5m monthly allowance

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*Joint session of the national assembly

Former chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Branch, Mr. Monday Ubani and another legal practitioner, Mr. John Nwokwu, have sued the senate and the House of Representative at the Federal High Court, Lagos over the stupendous salaries, allowances and remunerations the lawmakers collect.

The action was taken following the recent revelation by Senator Shehu Sani (Kaduna Central-APC), who was reported to have said that each senator collects monthly N13.5 million as running cost.

Sani also said the allowance is in addition to the monthly salary of N750, 000 prescribed by the “Certain Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders (Salaries and Allowances, etc Amendments) Act 2008.”

In the originating summons filed before the court on Thursday, May 5, 2018, the two lawyers are asking the court to determine whether, by relevant sections of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, NASS members have power to fix their salaries, wages, remuneration or allowances.

Also joined in the suit as co-defendants are the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC),

The lawyers prayed the court to determine whether RMAFC can delegate its powers to determine the salaries or remuneration of the National Assembly or political office holders and/or if such power is subject to usurpation by the National Assembly or any other body.

The litigants also asked the court to determine whether the allocation of constituency projects and funds to the tune of N200 million to members of the National Assembly was not ultra vires, illegal and unconstitutional.

In an affidavit in support of the suit, sworn to by Ubani, the lawyers contended that based on relevant sections of the constitution, it is illegal for the national assembly members to continue to collect the sums of N13.5 million monthly as running cost, N750, 000.00 as consolidated salary and allowance respectively and N200 million constituency project allowance as revealed recently.

The deponent maintained that by virtue of relevant sections of the 1999 constitution as amended, RMAFC is the only authority permitted to fix the salaries, allowances and remuneration of political office holders including that of the lawmakers in the national assembly.

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