A Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Adedokun Makinde, has filed a suit before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Lagos division of the Federal High Court, seeking an order to stop the payment of security votes to the President, Vice-President, governors and deputy governors. The suit also seeks an end to the payment of constituency project allowances to the Senate President, House of Representatives Speaker, speakers of state legislatures, members of federal and state legislatures and other political office holders.
Joined as respondents in the suit (FHC/L/CS/220/17) are the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Senate President, House of Representatives Speaker, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, 36 state governors and speakers of the 36 state legislatures.
Aside from seeking an order halting the payment of security votes and constituency project allowances to political office holders, Mr. Makinde is also requesting the court to declare the payment as well as drawing on funds in the shape of security vote from the Consolidated Revenue Fund or states as illegal.
The lawyer equally wants the court to declare that payment of funds for constituency projects to federal and state lawmakers as illegal. In the affidavit he deposed to in support of the suit, the lawyer averred that the President, Vice-President, governors, and deputy governors are in the category of executive political office holders and are thus ineligible to receive any remuneration as approved or determined by the RMAFC, the fifth respondent.
He further averred that the Constitution does not provide for the payment of security votes, as part of the remunerations, to the President, Vice-President, governors, and deputies by the RMAFC.
Mr. Makinde added that funds paid and received as security votes are not captured in the Federal Appropriation Act or states' appropriation laws. The amounts of money drawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, which is unknown, represents a huge drain on the country's resources, reduces the money available for development and therefore violates the constitution.
He argued that being elected exclusively to make laws precludes federal and state legislators from receiving monies for the execution of constituency projects, an exclusive responsibility of the executive arm of government. Payment of constituency project funds to them, Mr. Makinde contended, is thus illegal.
Also, the lawyer stated that payment to or withdrawal of security votes by the respondents constitutes an illegality and should be stopped henceforth. Hearing in the suit has been fixed for 26 April by Justice Olatoregun.