Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has won the latest round in the legal battle to compel the Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives Dogara Yakubu to account for the spending of N500 billion as running cost for the legislative body between 2006 and 2016, and disclose monthly allowances of each member.
Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos on Friday ruled, “I have looked at the papers filed by SERAP and I am satisfied that leave ought to be granted in this case for judicial review and an order of mandamus directing and compelling Saraki and Dogara to account for the spending of the running cost and disclose the monthly income and allowances of each Senator and member.”
Justice Aikawa granted the order for leave following the hearing of an argument in court on exparte motion by SERAP counsel Ms Bamisope Ibidolapo.
The suit numbers FHC/L/CS/1711/16 and FHC/L/CS/1710/16 filed last December followed disclosure by Abdulmumin Jibrin that Nigerian Senators and House of Representatives members have pocketed N500 billion as ‘running cost’ out of the N1 trillion provided for in the National Assembly budgets between 2006 and 2016, and by former president Olusegun Obasanjo that each Senator goes home with nothing less than N15m monthly while each member receives nothing less than N10m monthly.
The order by Justice Aikawa has now cleared the way for SERAP to advance its case against the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.