Court fixes April 26 for hearing of suit seeking to stop security votes, constituency allowances

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File photo of Nigerian Governors at the Presidential Villa

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court has fixed April 26 for the hearing of a suit seeking to stop the payment of security votes to the president and 77 other political office holders.

Adedokun Makinde, the Lagos-based lawyer who filed the suit, wants the court to declare that payment and or drawing of funds for security vote by the President, Vice President, Governor or Deputy Governor, Minister of FCT, and all political office holders from Consolidated Revenue Fund of the federation or state is unconstitutional, Illegal, null and void.

In the suit marked FHC/L/CS/220/17, the lawyer joined the Attorney-General of the Federation, the Senate President, the House of Representatives’ Speaker, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, and the Minister of Federal Capital Territory.

Others joined as respondents are the governors of the 36 states and the speakers of the 36 state houses of assembly.

The lawyer also sought a declaration that payment for constituency project to the legislators either at the federal or state levels is illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.

The plaintiff in his affidavit in support of the motion, deposed to by himself, averred that the president, vice president, governors, and deputy governors belong to the class or category of executive political class. And that these cannot receive any remuneration above that approved or determined by the RMAFC.

The plaintiff averred that there is no provision for payment of Security Vote to the president, vice-president, governor or deputy-governor by the RMAFC in the constitution as part of remuneration.

He added that all monies received as security vote are not appropriated in either the federal Appropriation Act, or appropriation laws of the states.

The lawyer also stated that the quantum of monies charged in the Consolidated Revenue Fund, which is unknown to the constitution, constitute a great drain on the revenue of the federation, and thereby deplete monies available for developmental purposes.

He added that the withdrawal and payment of security vote to elected office holders from the Consolidated Revenue Fund is a violation of constitutional provision.

He averred further that the duty of the legislators both at the federal and state levels, is to make law and not to execute projects.

Mr. Makinde said the National Assembly and state Houses of Assembly appropriate and collect monies called Constituency Project Fund, which is charged on the Consolidated Revenue Fund, and that the said constituency project fund runs into several billions of naira, which are not remuneration determined by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, cannot and should not be paid or collected by the legislators.

The lawyer stated further that the legislators have no powers to collect monies for the purpose of executing constituency project not being members of the executives; and that payment of constituency project fund to the legislators is wrong, Illegal and unconstitutional.

The deponent also stated that payment and or withdrawal of security vote by the president, vice-president, governors, deputy governors, and others is a violation of the constitution, Illegal and such should be terminated forthwith.

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