Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has filed a lawsuit against the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan and the Speaker of House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila over their failure to cut National Assembly budget of N228.1 billion.
In a statement on Sunday by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the suit followed the move by the National Assembly to increase its 2023 budget from N169bn proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari to N228.1bn.
The approved budget indicated an increase of about N59.1bn. The country’s budget of N21.83 trillion is based on a N10.49 trillion revenue, and N11.34 trillion deficit.
In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/152/2023 filed last Friday at the Federal High Court in Abuja, SERAP is seeking: “an order of mandamus to direct and compel Dr Lawan and Mr Gbajabiamila to review and reduce the budget of N228.1 billion the leadership and members of the National Assembly allocated for their own benefit.”
The suit also asked the court to stop the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning from releasing National Assembly Budget until impact analysis is conducted.
It argued that the NASS budget is unnecessarily higher than the budget for Education.
SERAP said government cannot continue to fund the lavish lifestyle of lawmakers despite most Nigerians living in poverty.
The group described the increase in the NASS budget as unreasonable, unlawful and unfair amid the country’s heavy debt crisis.
SERAP said cutting NASS budget would address the nation’s debt burden and serve public interest.