By Olasunkanmi Akoni
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 “restrain and stop President Muhammadu Buhari and Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning from releasing N37 billion allocated for the renovation of the National Assembly complex.
The group which wanted court to stop the release of the fund until an impact assessment of the spending is carried out also sought court order to “restrain, prevent and stop the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila and the Federal Capital Development Agency from demanding or collecting the earmarked N37 billion budget.
SERAP’s Deputy Director, Mr. Kolawole Oluwadare, disclosed this In a statement released on Sunday in Lagos.
In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1633/2019,
filed by Oluwadare and Opeyemi Owolabi, last week at the Federal High Court, Abuja, the plaintiffs argued: “The National Assembly complex should be a safe and conducive environment for those who work there. But spending ₦37 billion to renovate the place is not commensurate with the constitutional commitments to public services and goods; decreasing public revenues and increasing level of debts as well as the poor economic and social realities in the country.”
The plaintiffs also argued: “Spending N37 billion to renovate the National Assembly complex is self-serving, wrongful, illegal and unconstitutional expenditure of public funds, as 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.”