SERAP Sues Saraki, Dogara Over N500b Costs

SERAP Calls On Abia Governor To Restore Suspected CJ
SERAP

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sued the Senate President, Bukola Sakari, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, over failure to give account of N500 billion spent as running cost between 2006 and 2016.

They were also sued for not providing information on the monthly income and allowances of each Senator and member of the House of Representatives.

The suits which were filed at the Federal High Court Ikoyi were brought pursuant to section 4(a) of the Freedom of Information Act, and signed by SERAP Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, with suit numbers FHC/L/CS/1711/16 and FHC/L/CS/1710/16 respectively.

SERAP had made two Freedom of Information requests dated 25 November 2016 to both Saraki and Dogara asking them to urgently provide information about alleged spending of N500 billion as running cost between 2006 and 2016, and the monthly income and allowances of each Senator and member but got no response.

The suits followed disclosure by Abdulmumin Jibrin, a suspended lawmaker, that Nigerian Senators and House of Representatives members have pocketed N500 billion as ‘running cost’ out of the N1 trillion provided for in the National Assembly budgets between 2006 and 2016.

The group also anchored its suits on the disclosure by former president Olusegun Obasanjo that each Senator goes home with nothing less than N15m monthly while each member receives nothing less than N10m monthly.

SERAP is asking the court to determine whether by virtue of the provision of section 4(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, the Defendants are under an obligation to provide the Plaintiff with the information requested for.

The suits are respectively seeking “a declaration that the failure and/or refusal of the Respondents to disclose the spending of N500 billion as running cost between 2006 and 2016, and the monthly income and allowances of each Senator and member amounts to a breach of the fundamental principles of transparency and accountability and violates Articles 9, 21 and 22 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act.

“A declaration that by virtue of the provisions of Section 1 (1) and Section 4 (a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, the Defendants/Respondents are under a binding legal obligation to provide the Plaintiff/Applicant with up to date information on the spending allowances of each Senator and member including: Details of projects on which the N500 billion running cost between 2006 and 2016 were spent.

“An order of mandamus directing and or compelling the Defendants/Respondents to provide the Plaintiff/Applicant with up to date information on the spending of N500 billion as running cost between 2006 and 2016, and the monthly income and allowances of each Senator and member including: Details of projects on which the N500 billion running cost between 2006 and 2016 were spent.”

Source: The Will