The Federal High Court in Lagos in a landmark judgment on Friday ordered the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to fix the salaries and allowances of National Assembly members to reflect the economic realities in Nigeria.
The court ruled that the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) has no power to determine the remuneration and allowances of lawmakers.
Justice Chuka Austine Obiozor ruled in the consolidated suits brought by Messers Monday Ubani, John Nwokwu, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), BudgIT, Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE), and hundreds of Nigerians.
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The court also ruled that RMAFC is the only body responsible for determining the salaries, remuneration and/or allowances of federal legislators and political offices holders.
The judgment followed the hearing of Originating Summons in suit number FHC/L/CS/690/2018.
The judge heard arguments from the plaintiffs’ lawyers Femi Falana (SAN) and Adelanke Aremo.
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The suit was filed after reports that members of the National Assembly receive running costs and allowances not determined by RMAFC and that such allowances are illegal because they are far above what the RMAFC prescribed.
Senator Shehu Sani had, in an interview with the News Magazine, on the 8th of March 2018 revealed that “each senator receives N13.5 million monthly as running cost in addition to over N750,000.00 monthly consolidated salary and allowances”.
The plaintiffs stated that RMAFC has failed to do any downward review of salaries and allowances of members of the National Assembly since 2007 in spite of the economic downturn in Nigeria.
“The allowances of wardrobe, newspapers, kitchen travelling domestic and constituency project allowances of the members of the National Assembly are never contemplated or in the intendment of the constitution which created them and specified how they can be remunerated”, the suit read.
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