Some Civil Societies Organizations, The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, BudgIT, Enough is Enough and 583 concerned Nigerians, has filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja to stop the proposed renovation of the National Assembly complex in Abuja at a cost of N37bn.
SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oludare, while addressing newsmen on behalf of the group is praying for an order “restraining, preventing and stopping President (Muhammadu) Buhari and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning from releasing the N37bn 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, is carried out.”
the suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1633/2019, filed last week by the CSOs are asking the court to declare that allocation of N37bn for National Assembly’s renovation in the 2020 budget “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.”
The CSOs believed that “spending N37bn 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 health care to Nigerians, including the elderly, or repairing the country’s roads and bridges.”
The complex was constructed at a cost of N10.7bn ahead of the return to democracy in 1999. The Olusegun Obasanjo-led administration later expanded the complex to create more offices for lawmakers.
Recall that the Senate president, Ahmad Lawan, had last week explained that President, Muhammadu Buhari was aware of the planned renovation proposed for next year. He explained