SERAP asks court to stop NASS from spending N110bn on cars, others

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to restrain the National Assembly from spending N40billion on 465 exotic and bulletproof cars for its members and principal officers and N70bn as ‘palliatives’ allegedly for new members.

SERAP also sought an order of mandamus to direct and compel Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, to review and reduce the N40billion budgeted to buy 465 Sports Utility Vehicles (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 court papers filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyer, Kolawole Oluwadare, read in part: “the plan to spend N110bn is a fundamental breach of constitutional and international human rights obligations.

The CSO was further seeking an order restraining Akpabio and Abbas from demanding or receiving the N40billion to buy 465 SUV and bulletproof cars.

SERAP was also seeking an order of mandamus to direct and compel Akpabio and 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.

In an affidavit filed alongside the suit, the Applicant (SERAP) insisted that 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.

The group also argued that it is a fundamental breach of their fiduciary duties for members of the National Assembly to increase their budget arbitrarily and to use the budget as a tool to satisfy the lifestyle of lawmakers.

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