The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and 192 concerned Nigerians have filed a suit against the Speaker of the House of Representatives and other members of the lower chambers of the National Assembly over plans to spend about N5.04 billion public funds on the purchase of 400 brand new Toyota Camry 2020 cars.
Okay.ng understands that National Assembly Service Commission was joined as co-respondents in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/205/2020, filed on Friday, February 21, 2020, at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
According to the plaintiffs, Nigerians have a right to honest and faithful performance by their public officials including lawmakers, as public officials owe a fiduciary duty to the general citizenry.
They added that all those who hold the strings of political power and power over spending of Nigeria’s commonwealth have a duty to answer for their conduct when called upon to do so by Nigerians.
The plaintiffs insisted that it is illegal and unconstitutional for members of the House of Representatives to choose to buy expensive cars while encouraging Nigerians to tighten their belts and to patronize Nigerian brands.
Part of the suit reads: “If the members of House of Representatives take their duties to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged among us seriously, including their duties to judiciously spend public funds, they would not have voted to spend over $35,000 per car, especially given the current economic and financial realities of Nigeria.
“There is chronic poverty in Nigeria and many state governments are unable to pay salaries of workers and pensions. Unless the reliefs sought are granted, the House of Representatives will spend over N5 billion of public funds to buy the exotic cars at the expense of many Nigerians living in poverty and misery.
“It is also apparent that, besides elevating their personal interests over and above the public interests, members of the House of Representatives have shown insensitivity to the plight of Nigerians, thereby violating Section 14 (2)(b) of the Nigerian Constitution of 1999, to the effect that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government and its institutions.”
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the case.