The Human and Environmental Development Agenda Resource Center, a non- governmental organization and non-partisan human rights and development league, has sent a Freedom of Information request to the National Assembly Service Commission, for details of all the allowances inducing the N13.5 million monthly running cost by Senators of the National Assembly and the basis for the collection.
In the letter signed by HEDA’s Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, the Resource Center expressed serious concern over the recently revealed illegal allowances paid to members of parliament, especially Senators.
The group recalled that Senator Shehu Sanni shocked Nigerians in his revelation of the lawmakers’ collection of unconstitutional running cost, above the statutorily approved salaries and allowances, to the tune of N13.5 million since the inauguration of the 8th Assembly.
“This is in the least, criminal, inhuman, cruel and corruption beyond imagination of observers of your government and its anti-corruption agenda.
“The Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), the body charged with responsibility of fixing remuneration package for political, public and judicial officer in Nigeria says monthly payment of N13.5 million as running cost to senator is unknown to the Commission and therefore illegal,” HEDA protested.
HEDA further declared: “We are compelled to demand that you use your good office to furnish us detailed information of all the collections and the basis, purpose for such collections.
“We believe that the requested information will aid investigation with a view to promoting accountability, probity, transparency and total commitment in the fight to eradicate corruption in Nigeria.
“By virtue of Section 4(a) of the FOI Act, when a person makes a request for information from a public official, institution or agency, the public official, institution or agency to whom the application is directed is under a binding legal obligation to provide the applicant with the information requested for, except as otherwise provided by the Act, within seven days after the application is received.
“We humbly rely on the above provisions of the FOI Act and once again request your office to provide our request within seven days, as failure to grant our request may compel HEDA to move against your office by reliance on the provisions of the FOI Act.”