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, requesting for details of all the collections of N13.5m monthly by Senators of the National Assembly and the basis for the collection.
In the letter for the request signed by HEDA’s chairman, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, the Resource Center expressed serious concern over the recently revealed illegal allowances paid to members of parliament, especially the Senators.
A member of the Senate, Senator Shehu Sanni shocked Nigerians during an interview with a Newspaper with the revelation of parliamentarian’s illegal collection of unconstitutional running cost, above the statutorily approved salaries and allowances, to the tune of N13.5M since the inauguration of this 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 N13.5M as running cost to senator is unknown to the Commission and therefore illegal.”
HEDA said, “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 7 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 the next 7 days, as failure to grant our request may compel HEDA to move against your office by reliance on the provisions of the FOI Act,” the request said.