Slash Buhari, Govs, NASS Members’ Allowances, SERAP Tells Court
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to reduce the remuneration and allowances of President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, 36 governors and members of the National Assembly.
In the suit number, FHC/ABJ/CS/658/2021 filed on Friday by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Adelanke Aremo, SERAP to order the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) to perform their statutory functions to review downward the remuneration and allowances of the high ranking public officials.
CityNews Nigeria learnt that SERAP is seeking: “an order of mandamus to direct and compel the RMAFC to send its downward review of the remuneration and allowances of these high-ranking public office holders and recommendations to the National Assembly for appropriate remedial and legislative action, as provided for by the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended].”
According to SERAP “slashing jumbo pay for these high-ranking political office-holders would reduce the unfair pay disparity between political officer holders and judicial officers, address the persistent poor treatment of judges, and improve access of victims of corruption to justice and effective remedies”.
Joined in the suit as respondents are Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, for themselves, and on behalf of all members of the Senate and House of Representative; and the National Judicial Council.
According to SERAP, “while high-ranking political office-holders continue to enjoy lavish allowances, including life pensions, and access to security votes, which they have powers to spend as they wish, the remuneration and allowances of judges are grossly insufficient to enable them to maintain themselves and their families in reasonable comfort.
“The huge pay disparity between these high-ranking political officer-holders and judges is unfair, unjust, and discriminatory, especially given the roles of judges to the people and the country,” it said.
“While government reviewed upward the salaries and allowances of political office holders on four occasions between May 1999 and March 2011, the salaries and allowances of judicial officers were only reviewed twice during the same period.”
Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.