OMG! SERAP, EiE, BudgIT dragged Moh’d Buhari to court over N37Bn.

…stop Buhari and Zainab Ahmed


Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), BudgIT, Enough is Enough (EiE) and 583 concerned Nigerians have dragged President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed before the Federal High Court, Abuja over the proposed N37 billion allocated for the renovation of the National Assembly complex.

In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1633/2019 filed last week at the Federal High Court, Abuja by Kolawole Oluwadare and Opeyemi Owolabi, they described the N37 billion allocated for the renovation of the National Assembly as “self-serving, wrongful, illegal and unconstitutional expenditure of public funds,” which they said would translate to “less money for educating millions of out-of-school Nigerian children, providing access to clean water and healthcare to Nigerians including the elderly, or repairing the country’s roads and bridges.”


The groups said: “Spending N37 billion to renovate the National Assembly complex is self-serving, wrongful, illegal and unconstitutional expenditure of public funds, as it means less money for educating millions of out-of-school Nigerian children, providing access to clean water and healthcare to Nigerians including the elderly, or repairing the country’s roads and bridges.

“The National Assembly complex should be a safe and conducive environment for those who work there, but spending ₦37 billion to renovate the place is not commensurate with the constitutional commitments to public services and goods, decreasing public revenues and increasing level of debts as well as the poor economic and social realities in the country.”


They are therefore seeking an order of the court to “restrain and stop President Muhammadu Buhari and Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning from releasing N37 billion allocated for the renovation of the National Assembly complex to the Federal Capital Development Agency and the National Assembly until an impact assessment of the spending is carried out.”

They also asked the court to “restrain, prevent and stop the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila and the Federal Capital Development Agency from demanding or collecting the N37 billion earmarked for the renovation of the National Assembly complex until an impact assessment of the spending on critical sectors and access to public goods and services, is carried out.”


The groups argued that “the defendants are public officers who have sworn the constitutional oaths of office to perform their respective duties in the interest of Nigerian citizens. The refusal of President Buhari to object to the Budget/Appropriation Bill containing a huge N37 billion on renovation of the National Assembly complex is a gross violation of the constitution and existing laws in Nigeria.”

The 583 plaintiffs include Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) co-convener Aisha Yesufu; a former Lagos State (Eti-Osa Federal Constituency) House of Reps aspirant, Bankole Wellington also known as Banky W, Mrs Ayo Obe, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, and Fisayo Soyombo.

They are seeking from the court: “A declaration that the N37 billion proposed, prescribed, voted and allocated for renovation of National Assembly Complex in the 2020 Nigerian National Budget via Appropriation Bill/Act 2019 is a breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers [Fifth Schedule Part 1] of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 [as amended] and Oath of a member of the National Assembly; a declaration that the N37 billion proposed, voted and allocated for renovation of National Assembly Complex in the 2020 Nigerian National Budget via Appropriation Bill/Act 2019 signed is a breach of the defendants’ solemn constitutional obligations to know and follow constitutional oaths governing their conduct, including their duties of care to Nigerians to faithfully protect and defend the constitution and improve the well-being and welfare of Nigerians; an order of the court restraining, preventing and stopping President Buhari and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning from releasing the N37 billion allocated for the renovation of the National Assembly complex to the Federal Capital Development Agency and the National Assembly leadership until an assessment of the impact of the spending on critical sectors like education, health, clean water and safe roads a revision to the allocation, is carried out; an order of the court restraining, preventing and stopping the National Assembly leadership from demanding or collecting the N37 billion proposed for the renovation of the National Assembly until an assessment of the impact of the spending on critical sectors like education, health, clean water and safe roads a revision to the allocation, is carried out; Any order(s) that the Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstance of this suit.”

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.


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