ABUJA, Nigeria – The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has said that the body and 302 concerned Nigerians have filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice-President Professor Yemi Osinbajo and the leadership of the National Assembly over the hike in electricity tariff and fuel price.
SERAP made this known via a post on its Twitter handle on Sunday.
The rights body said it wants the Federal High Court in Abuja to declare the recent hike in electricity tariff and fuel price by the Federal Government as ‘illegal’.
“We’ve together with 302 Nigerians asked the Federal High Court, Abuja to declare illegal & unfair the hike in electricity tariff/fuel price because top level public officers cannot continue to receive the same salaries while asking poor Nigerians to make sacrifices,” SERAP tweeted.
“Joined in the suit as Defendants are President Buhari, the Vice-President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan, Speaker of House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, and the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
“In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/330/2020 filed last week, we’re seeking: “an order directing & compelling the RMAFC to cut the salaries, allowances & other emoluments payable to the Defendants, in line with current economic realities & principles of justice, fairness & equality.
“The Constitution of Nigeria 1999 [as amended] makes it clear that the authorities should harness Nigeria’s resources to promote and ensure the maximum welfare, prosperity, freedom and happiness of every citizen on the basis of social justice and equality.
“The country’s resources ought to be harnessed and distributed to serve the common good, and not to finance a life of luxury for politicians.
“Increasing electricity tariff and fuel price in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic is antithetical to the public interest, the common good, and a fundamental breach of constitutional oath of office.
“Public money is spent as security votes without transparency, and to pay for lavish lifestyles for top public officers including lawmakers, who continue to buy expensive new cars at the expense of taxpayers, the poor and socially and economically vulnerable Nigerians.
“@nassnigeria is also set to spend N27bn to renovate the National Assembly Complex.
Public duty means showing leadership by example and commitment to the ideals of public service, including by reducing salaries and allowances of top public officers like the Defendants.
“The court, being the last hope of the common man, must come to the aid of poor Nigerians by granting the reliefs sought by SERAP & 302 concerned Nigerians. Unless the reliefs are granted, the Defendants will continue to breach the constitution at the expense of the poor,” it stated.