Civic groups, activists ask court to stop Nigerian govt from spending N37bn to revovate NASS


The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), BudgIT, Enough is Enough (EiE) and 583 concerned Nigerians have filed a lawsuit asking the Federal High Court, Abuja to stop President Muhammadu Buhari and Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning from releasing N37 billion Naira allocated for the renovation of the National Assembly complex.

President Muhammadu Buhari had last week, approved N37 billion Naira for the renovation of the National Assembly complex, after Snate president, Ahmad Lawan, decried that the National Assembly building had become dilapidated.

The amount, which is included in the 2020 budget, is however not part of the N128 billion Naira allocated for the National Assembly for next year.

The groups are now seeking a court order to restrain the president from released the funds to the Federal Capital Development Agency and the National Assembly, until an impact assessment of the spending is carried out.

In the suit, the plaintiffs argued: “Spending N37 billion Naira to renovate the National Assembly complex is self-serving, wrongful, illegal and unconstitutional expenditure of public funds.”

They also say it means less money for educating millions of out-of-school Nigerian children, providing access to clean water and healthcare to Nigerians including the elderly, or repairing the country’s roads and bridges.

The 583 concerned Nigerians who joined the suit as co-plaintiffs include: Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) co-convener Aisha Yesufu; Nigerian singer and actor Banky Wellington; Ayo Obe; Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, and Fisayo Soyombo.

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