Jumbo pay: Court bars National Assembly from fixing lawmakers’ allowances

Jumbo pay: Court bars National Assembly from fixing lawmakers’ allowances
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on Friday, declared illegal the fixing of members’ allowances by the National Assembly.

Justice Chuka Obiozor, in a landmark judgment, said only the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission can fix salaries for public officers.

He delivered the judgement in a suit filed by a former Vice-President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Monday Ubani.

A former lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani, had said in March 2018 that he received N13.5m allowances monthly.

Ubani subsequently asked the court to decide if the National Assembly had the right to arbitrarily fix its allowances.

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He also asked the court to order the National Assembly members to refund such jumbo allowances received.

The respondents in the case were the Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Attorney-General of the Federation, the National Assembly Service Commission and the RMAFC

Justice Obiozor in his ruling said no other body or person in the country shall fix salary or allowances for any officer except RMAFC, adding that it’s illegal for anyone to do otherwise.

But the judge did not order that such allowances be refunded.

National Assembly, which has 469 members, had been severely criticised for operating an opaque budget and refusing to reveal the allowances of its members.

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Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, said Nigerian federal lawmakers are among those earning the highest emoluments in the world.

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