Stop Akpabio, Abbas from NASS budget hike: SERAP, others to court

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, and 20 concerned Nigerians have asked a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to stop Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas from “unilaterally and arbitrarily increasing the allocation for lawmakers from N197billion to N344billion, their highest since the return of democracy in 1999.”

Akpabio and Abbas are being sued for themselves and on behalf of all members of the National Assembly.

Recall that the lawmakers had last month raised their allocation from N197billion proposed by President Bola Tinubu for them in the budget to N344billion.

Speaker, House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas

The federal lawmakers will in total draw N514billion from the 2024 budget.

The lawmakers also in 2023 arbitrarily increased their own budget from the originally proposed N169billion to N228billion.

The plaintiffs are asking the court to determine “whether the lawmakers, in the exercise of their powers over appropriation/money bills, can unilaterally increase their own budget without the re-presentation of the budget by the Executive.”

They are further asking the court to declare that the National Assembly, in the exercise of its powers over appropriation/money bills, cannot unilaterally increase its own budget without the re-presentation of the budget by the President in line with section 81 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended].”

They also want the court to declare that the action of the National Assembly, unilaterally increasing its own budget from N197 billion to N344 billion, without the re-presentation of the budget by the President is a breach of the democratic principles of separation of powers and checks and balances.”

The plaintiffs want the court to restrain and prevent the National Assembly from unilaterally increasing its own budget, in the exercise of its powers over all appropriation/money bills, without the re-presentation of such appropriation/money bills by the President in line with the Nigerian Constitution.”

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: