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Reverse N110b palliative for yourselves or meet me in court, Falana tells N’Assembly

July 17, 2023

 

 

 

 

 

The Chair, Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB), Femi Falana, has called on leaders and members of the National Assembly to reverse the N110 billion palliatives and purchase of exotic vehicles they allocated to themselves.

Falana said the action cannot be justified in a democratic society, which claims to operate under the rule of law. He warned that by approving allowances in the form of palliatives for themselves, without approval of the Revenue Allocation Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission (RAMFC), members of the National Assembly deliberately acted illegally and contemptuously.

He said: “If the illegal decisions are not reversed, we call on RAMFC to take urgent steps to prevent the National Assembly from further usurping its constitutional functions. Otherwise, we are going to commence contempt proceedings against the chairman of the RAMFC and leaders of both chambers of the National Assembly.

“Out of sheer insensitivity, coupled with impunity, members of the National Assembly, regardless of political affiliation, conspired to breach relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution by padding the Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2023 to provide the so-called palliative of N70 billion for 306 newly elected members. While the masses of Nigeria are groaning under excruciating economic pains unleashed on them by the ruling class, the National Assembly has awarded N228.7 million to each of the newly elected legislators.

“As if that is not enough, members of the National Assembly have earmarked N40 billion to purchase 465 Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and bulletproof cars for principal officials and members.

“However, the legislators approved the sum of N500 billion for 12 million indigent people in a country, where the National Bureau of Statistics has said that ‘62.9 per cent of people (133 million) are multi-dimensionally poor’.”

The human rights lawyer maintained that the callous and insensitive decisions of the members of the National Assembly constitute a flagrant contravention of Section 70 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, which stipulates that: “A member of the Senate or of the House of Representatives shall receive such salary and other allowances as RMAFC may determine.”

 

(The Guardian)

 

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