Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and 302 concerned Nigerians have filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the National Assembly, asking the court to “declare illegal, unconstitutional and unfair the recent hike in electricity tariff and fuel price because top-level public officers cannot continue to receive the same salaries and allowances and spend public money to finance a life of luxury for themselves while asking poor Nigerians to make sacrifices.”
Joined in the suit as Defendants are the Vice-President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan, Speaker of House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, and the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
President Buhari had while presenting the 2021 budget proposal of N13.08 trillion to the National Assembly reportedly stated that: “The new petro pricing has freed up resources that were used for subsidy payments, while the new cost-reflective pricing in the electricity industry is meant to address the liquidity challenges in the sector.”
But in the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/330/2020 filed last week at the Federal High Court, Abuja, SERAP is seeking: “an order directing and compelling the RMAFC to cut the salaries, allowances and other emoluments payable to President Buhari, Professor Osinbajo, Dr Lawan and Mr Gbajabiamila, in line with the current economic realities, and principles of justice, fairness, equality and non-discrimination.”
SERAP is arguing that: “The Constitution of Nigeria 1999 [as amended] makes it clear that the authorities should harness Nigeria’s resources to promote and ensure the maximum welfare, prosperity, freedom and happiness of every citizen on the basis of social justice and equality. The country’s resources ought to be harnessed and distributed to serve the common good, and not to finance a life of luxury for politicians.”
According to SERAP: “Increasing electricity tariff and fuel price in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic is antithetical to the public interest, the common good, and a fundamental breach of constitutional oath of office.” #feed #celebfeed