Senate dragged to court over plans to spend N5.5b on cars

A lawsuit has been instituted at the federal high court, Lagos, by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), BudgIT, Enough is Enough (EiE) and 6,721 concerned Nigerians, asking the court stop the National Assembly Service Commission from paying or releasing the sum of N5.550 billion allegedly budgeted for purchase of luxury cars for principal members of the ninth Senate.
The applicants also want the court to restrain and stop the Senate from collecting the money until the downward review of the amount proposed by the Senate.
In suit number FHC/L/CS/1511/2019 filed last Friday the applicants argued that spending a huge sum of N5.550 billion to buy luxury cars for principal members of the ninth Senate is unjust and unfair.
According to them, it negates the constitutional oath of office made by members to perform their functions in the interest of the well-being and prosperity of Nigeria and its citizens, as contained in the Seventh Schedule of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended).
“The proposed spending by the ninth Senate raises pertinent questions: What is the economic value and contribution of the vehicles sought to be purchased to the grand scheme of Nigeria’s economy? What are the parameters used to arrive at cost efficiency and value for money in the decision to purchase the vehicles?  Where are the vehicles purchased by the eighth Senate?” The applicants asked.
The 6,721 concerned Nigerians who joined the suit as co-plaintiffs with SERAP, BudgIT and EiE include: Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) co-conveners, Oby Ezekwesili and Aisha Yesufu; Jibrin Ibrahim; Edetaen Ojo; Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, and Deji Adeyanju.
The applicants argued: “The failure or refusal by the Senate to comply with legal and constitutional provisions is nothing but an act of arbitrariness. The money could be better allocated to more important sectors of the National Assembly expenditure – like constituency projects and National Assembly-endowed educational scholarships.”

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