Court Orders Release Of Legislators' Salary Details From 2007 To 2011 - Politics - Nairaland
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|Court Orders Release Of Legislators' Salary Details From 2007 To 2011 by eGuerrilla(m): 9:30pm On Jun 25, 2012 |
Court Orders Release Of Information On Legislators’ Salaries And Allowances From 2007 To 2011
In a major boost to the rule of law in Nigeria, the Federal High Court, today in Abuja ordered the Clerk of the National Assembly to release to the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), details of the salaries, emoluments and allowancesthat were collected by national legislators between 2007 and 2011.Source
In a judgment delivered by Hon Justice B.B. Aliyu in a suit filed by LEDAP, against the leadership of the National Assembly under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI), the court held that the law Act permitted the non-governmental organization to demand any public information such as the details of salaries, emoluments and allowances earned by the legislators, being of public interest since they were from public funds.
Last September, LEDAP filed a suit to compel the clerk of NASS to furnish it with the information, claiming that the legislators were overpaid beyond the rate approved by law. LEDAP had earlier written to the clerk of the national Assembly for the information on the earnings of the legislators and demanded refund of overpayments. The request was ignored, leading to the suit.
The National Assembly argued through its counsel, Yunus UstazUsman, that the information requested by LEDAP was not permitted to be released under the FOI, and that the NGO lacked the locus standi to make such request. Overruling the objections, the judge said every citizen is entitled to have access to public information under the FOI Act, and ordered the Clerk of NASS to release the requested information within 14 days of the judgment.
It will be recalled that at the end of the 6th National Assembly in June 2011, it was widely reported that some legislators collected as much as N100m per quarter in allowances, excluding official salaries and emoluments, and that principals officers collected even more.
LEDAP considered the outrageous payment of allowances to legislators beyond the rate allowed by the statute to be unlawful.Through its lawyer, Chino Obiagwu, LEDAP said, “Legislators are those who made the law on how much each public officer should be paid in salary and allowances. It is unlawful and irresponsible for them to break the law and collect for themselves from public coffers much more than permitted by law. They are liable to refund any excess money collected beyond approved sum, and we will pursue this issue in thecourts until all unlawful overpayments to the legislators of the 6thAssembly are repaid to public coffers.”
Today’s judgement, which will have the principal aim of demystifying one aspect of the accounts of the National Assembly, could see many former and serving legislators having to repay vast sums of money.
|Re: Court Orders Release Of Legislators' Salary Details From 2007 To 2011 by eGuerrilla(m): 9:32pm On Jun 25, 2012 |
Small win for probity!
|Re: Court Orders Release Of Legislators' Salary Details From 2007 To 2011 by hisblud(m): 9:59pm On Jun 25, 2012 |
|Re: Court Orders Release Of Legislators' Salary Details From 2007 To 2011 by eGuerrilla(m): 9:13am On Jun 26, 2012 |
Got to give it up to the folks at LEPAD
for championing a mater that has long been in the public interest.
I must find a way of sending a small cheque across to aid this organisation's stellar effort.
The Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) is a non-governmental organization of lawyers and Law professional, engaged in the promotion and protection of human rights, the rule of law and good governance in Nigeria. It has observed status with the Africa commission on human and peoples’ Rights.
LEDAP provides free legal representation to poor and vulnerable victims of human rights violations. It undertakes programmes to raise awareness of the legal community in Nigeria of international human rights norms and how they can be integrated into the system of administration of justice in the country. It works with the Directors of Public Prosecutors to improve administration of criminal justice in the country. It also works to promote and protect rights of women under its domestic violence and reproductive health programmes. It promotes rights of children through legal and other support to children in conflict with the law, and seeks to advance the rule of law and good governance through impact litigation and social advocacy. It focuses on improving the legal and human rights framework for economic and social justice through its social security project as well as on human security under its Impunity Project and Death Penalty Project.
History: Founded in 1997 by a group of pro bono lawyers working to protect and support political prisoners, the organization has grown to 1700 members across Nigeria. It has zonal coordinators and office in Oshogbo, Jos, Kano, Awka and Port Harcourt, with national office in Lagos. Its Organization structure includes management board and the administration headed by the National Coordinator, Chino Obiagwu, and Executive Programmes Manager, Adaobi Egboka.
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