$1bn Boko Haram fund: Council Chairmen sue FG, governors to void approval
Sixteen Local Government Chairmen in Ekiti State have asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to void the approval given for the Federal Government to withdraw $1billion from the Excess Crude Account of the Federation for the prosecution of its fight against Boko Haram.
Their request is contained in a suit they filed, listing the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), the 36 state Governors and the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission as defendants.
The Chairmen, in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1264/17, want the court to restrain the Federal Government, the 36 state Governors and their agents from giving effect to the appropriation and/ or approval of appropriation of $1b or any other sum, from the Excess Crude Account of the Federation, as contained in the decision made on December 15, 2017 unless and by means of statutory allocation by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
They also want the court to declare that the approval of $1b by the 36 state Governors to purportedly execute the constitutional duty of the Federal government, which has been sufficiently funded from the Federation Account, without the their consent is ultra vires, unlawful, null and void.
They equally want an order of court declaring that in the discharge of its constitutional duty to safeguard the security and territorial integrity of Nigeria, the Federal Government of Nigeria, being the 1st defendant’s principal (AGF), must be funded in accordance with its Appropriation Act and by means of due accruals from the Federation account only.
The plaintiffs want the court to declare that the 1st -37 defendants’ appropriation and /or approval of appropriation of the sum of $1 from the Excess Crude Account of the federation made at the National Economic Council meeting of December 12, 2017 without regard to the consent of the 38th defendant (the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission), the plaintiffs; and the due appropriation of the various states’ Houses of Assembly, is unconstitutional, unlawful and of no effect whatsoever.
They equally want a declaration that they are entitled to full share of all revenue accrued and accruable to the Federation Account and the Federation Excess Crude Account or any other Account whatsoever operated by and for the Federation of Nigeria, including the sum of $1,000,000,000 (which was purportedly approved for the expenditure of the Federal Government by the 1st-37th defendants at the 83rd, National Economic Council meeting of December 15, 2017, in accordance with section 162 of the 1999 constitution and the provisions of Allocation of Revenue (Federation Account) Act.
The plaintiffs raised some questions for the court’s determination.
They include: *Whether by the provisions of sections 153 (1) (h), 162 and paragraph 18, part 1 of the third schedule to the 1999 constitution, the 1st -37th defendants can lawfully appropriate and or approve the appropriation of funds in the excess crude account of the federation of Nigeria, without affecting, reducing or obliterating the plaintiffs’ lawful share of proceeds from the federation accounts.
*Whether the 2nd defendant can lawfully appropriate and /or approve the appropriation of funds in the excess crude account of the federation of Nigeria, without the consent and /or consultation of the plaintiffs.
*Whether in the discharge of the federal government’s constitutional duty of safeguarding the security and territorial integrity of Nigeria, (as mandated by section 217 of the 1999 constitution, the Federal government can lawfully resort to funding other than by means of its Appropriation Act.
The plaintiffs are: Deji Ogunsakin (Ado LGA); Bola Alonge (Ikere LGA); Lanrewaju Omolase (Ekiti South West LGA); Dapo Olagunju (Irepodun/Ifeelodun LGA); Samuel Adeniyi (Ekiti East LGA); Olumide Falade (Ise/Orun LGA); Sade Akinrinmola (Gbonyin LGA); Tayo Ogundare (Oye LGA); Chief Ayodeji Arogbodo (Ido/Osi LGA) and Taiwo Oguntuase (Emure LGA). Others are Kolawole Omotunde (Ekiti West LGA); Bolaji Jeje (Efon LGA); Adesola Adeyanju (Ikole LGA); Ganiyu Bakare (Ilejemele LGA); Adeniyi Adebayo (Moba LGA) and Abiodun Dada (Ijero LGA). – The Nation-.