A rights group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has asked a Federal High Court in Lagos to order Senate President Bukola Saraki and other senators to refund the N13.5 million monthly allowance being received by them with interest.
The organisation prayed the court to stop the lawmakers from receiving such allowance henceforth.
It made the request in a suit filed on Monday before the court by a legal counsel Ms Bamisope Adeyanju.
The defendants in the suit are the Senate President and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN).
SERAP urged the court to declare “that the N13.5 million allotted to each senator per month as running cost aside their salaries and allowances is in breach of the provisions of section 70 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), and the Certain Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders Act”.
The group urged the court to declare the money as “illegal, unconstitutional and unjustified having regards to section 70 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), and the Certain Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders Act 2008 and the Appropriations Act”.
SERAP is also seeking an order of the court “directing the defendants to stop allotting N13.5 million to each senator per month as running cost, the said sum being illegal and unconstitutional”.
The group is also seeking:
“An order compelling the second defendant to call for immediate investigation by the appropriate federal agency on the use to which the said sum was put to by the first defendant and his colleagues; and
“An order directing the defendants to make public the findings of the investigation by publishing same in at least two national dailies and other orders as the may deem fit to make in the circumstance of this suit.”
SERAP claimed to have learnt of this illegal act through Senator Shehu Sani, representing Kaduna Central, who revealed that he and his colleagues receive N13.5 million monthly aside their salaries and allowances.
“The Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), the constitutional body responsible for fixing public officials’ salaries and allowances, has declared the said sum of N13.5 million running cost of the Senate President and other senators as illegal.”