Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Federal High Court in Lagos has declared that the National Assembly Service Commission has no power to determine the remuneration and allowances of lawmakers.
Justice Obiozor made the declaration in a judgement on a consolidated suits filed by two lawyers Monday Ubani, John Nwokwu and more than 1,500 concerned Nigerians, including Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), BudgIT and Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE).
According to the judge, it is only the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) that is constitutionally empowered to fix salaries of both public and political office holders in Nigeria.
He therefore urged RMAFC to fix the salaries and allowances of the 469 members of the National Assembly (109 in the Senate and 360 in the House of Representatives) to reflect the economic realities in the country.
Justice Obiozor gave the judgment after listening to arguments from the Plaintiffs’ lawyers Femi Falana (SAN) and Ms Adelanke Aremo.
This development was disclosed yesterday in a statement by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare.
The suit was filed by the plaintiffs on the heels of reports that members of the National Assembly receive running costs and allowances not determined by RMAFC and that such allowances are illegal because they are far above what the RMAFC prescribed.