Prominent human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has described the decision of the National Assembly to allocate N70 billion as palliatives for its members as illegal and contemptuous.
ADULAWO NEWS reports that the allocation of N70 billion, disbursed among 306 newly elected members, in addition to N40 billion set aside for the purchase of Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and bulletproof cars for principal officials and members, has sparked public outrage.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Falana emphasized the callousness and insensitivity displayed by the National Assembly, considering the economic hardships endured by the majority of Nigerians as a result of the fuel subsidy removal.
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The Senior Advocate (SAN) said the decision of the parliament blatantly contravene 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.
Falana affirmed that the judiciary had already ruled against such excessive allowances to lawmakers, adding that the Federal High Court had declared that the National Assembly Service Commission has no authority to determine the remuneration and allowances of its members.
He stressed that the judgments remain valid and binding, and the National Assembly’s actions are therefore illegal and contemptuous.
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The senior lawyer, therefore, called on the leadership and members of the National Assembly to reverse the controversial allowances and the purchase of luxury vehicles.
In the event that these actions are not promptly rectified, Falana urged the RMAFC to take immediate measures to prevent further usurpation of its constitutional functions.
He warned that failure to do so would result in contempt proceedings against the Chairman of the RMAFC and the leaders of both chambers of the National Assembly.