President Muhammadu Buhari ought to probe allegations of fee of of N17 billion to the National Assembly as ‘election expenses’ of its members to move the 2015 price range, in keeping with the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP).
Former Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had made the allegation just lately and SERAP has referred to as on Buhari to order the proper companies to research the claims.
This was revealed in a letter by SERAP over the weekend the place it vowed to take authorized motion in opposition to Buhari if the claims will not be investigated.
“The allegation of budgeting N17 billion as election expenses of lawmakers suggests a fundamental breach of article 15 of the UN Convention against Corruption, which Nigeria has ratified,” SERAP added.
“Using public funds as election bills of lawmakers is opposite to the conference, which prohibits bribery and requires the authorities to make sure correct administration of public affairs and public funds.
“The illicit or improper nature of the election bills is buttressed by the truth that the election of any lawmaker is a ‘benefit’ to him/her and never a matter of public curiosity or respectable public spending, and implicitly quantity to an abuse of legislative powers for personal acquire.
“Allowing lawmakers to take pleasure in illicit advantages is an arbitrary or unjust train of government features. Facilitating N17 billion as election bills has undercut entry of tens of millions of Nigerians to public companies, because the funds might have been legitimately spent on companies resembling well being, training, electrical energy provide or public transportation that these with few sources are dependent upon.
“The required parts of the offence of bribery are these of promising, providing or giving one thing to a public official, such because the alleged N17 billion for election bills of lawmakers.
“The allegation that the members of the chief allowed the National Assembly to have their approach on the N17 billion additionally suggests giving the lawmakers an undue benefit to get the 2015 price range handed. The undue benefit or bribe additionally appeared linked to the official duties of lawmakers to induce the passing of the price range.
“SERAP notes that the alleged N17 billion bribe has increased attention to the growing lack of transparency and accountability of the National Assembly, and the corresponding loss of trust and faith by Nigerians in the budgeting process and disillusionment in their lawmakers.”
SERAP also stated that probing the allegations would restore confidence in Nigeria’s democracy.