Human rights activist, Femi Falana, has described the N110 billion palliative allocated to the National Assembly as illegal and contemptuous.
Falana called for the immediate reversal of the controversial measures, while noting that it was a blatant breach of the relevant provisions of the Constitution.
N70 billion was disbursed to the newly elected members of the National Assembly, in addition to N40 billion set aside for the purchase of Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and bulletproof cars for principal officials and members.
Condemning the allocation, the activist lawyer accused the National Assembly of being callous and insensitive in the face of Nigeria’s economic hardships.
Falana stressed that the allocation contravened Section 70 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, which outlines the appropriate remuneration and allowances for members of the National Assembly.
He disclosed this in a statement titled “Palliative of N110 billion for National Assembly members is illegal and contemptuous.”
The statement reads: “Out of sheer insensitivity coupled with impunity, the members of the National Assembly, regardless of political affiliation conspired to breach the relevant provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 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 the 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, the 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 percent of people (133 million) are multidimensionally poor.”
“The callous and insensitive decisions of the members of the National Assembly constitute a flagrant contravention of Section 70 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, which stipulates as follows:
“A member of the Senate or of the House of Representatives shall receive such salary and other allowances as Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission may determine.”