A Lagos-based lawyer and activist has urged a federal court to declare as unlawful the purchase of exotic cars by lawmakers in the National Assembly.
Malcolm Omirhobo said he is suing the lawmakers for himself and on behalf of the people of Nigeria.
Joined as defendants in the suit before the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court are the Attorney General of the Federation and the National Assembly.
Last week, the House of Representatives began delivery of the first batch of 360 Peugeot cars to lawmakers in Abuja.
The House had allocated N3.6 billion in the 2016 budget for the purchase of the cars.
The delivery of the vehicles to members of the Lower House came months after the Senate began its own allocation of 108 four-wheel drive Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles budgeted at N36.5 million each.
The lawmakers’ actions had drawn intense criticism from Nigerians who questioned the acquisition of such luxury cars amidst a recession.
In his suit, Mr. Omirhobo urged the court to decide:
“Whether the provisions of the Public Procurement Act 2007, applies to all procurement of goods, works and services carried out by the government.
“Whether the Senate and House of Representatives have complied with the provision of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 in the procurement of their official cars?
“Whether in the face of the Public Procurement Act, it is lawful for the defendants to refuse to patronize and purchase affordable locally manufactured cars for official use.
“Whether it is lawful and legal for the senate to acquire cars at prices twice the market price value
“Whether in the face of section 42 of the 1999 constitution, for the defendants to use of tax payers money to purchase exotic and expensive cars considering the country’s economic situation.”
He, therefore, seeks a declaration that by the provisions of the Public Procurement Act , 2007, it is unlawful for the defendants to purchase their official cars without complying with the provisions of the Act.
Mr. Omirhobo sought a declaration that it is wasteful for the defendants not to purchase made in Nigeria car as their official vehicles.
He urged for an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the defendants from purchasing their official cars, without compliance with the public procurement Act.
He also sought an order, compelling the defendants to purchase affordable locally manufactured cars as their official cars instead of imported/foreign, exotic and expensive cars.
No date has been fixed for hearing of the new suit.