Petition for investigation the for the illegal payments made to members of the National Assembly
The attention of the Transform Nigeria Movement (TNM) has been drawn to uncontradicted reports that in addition to the regular and legitimate salaries and allowances of N17 million and N14.99 million which members of the National Assembly (Senators and Representatives) were collecting yearly and the irregular
allowance of estacodes, duty tours etc, they were also collecting N192m and N140m respectively in illegal quarterly allocation which is not provided for by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC.
TNM requests that you investigate and confirm these allegations which in effect are complaints of commission of financial crimes of which your Commission is statutorily empowered to investigate and prosecute under the provisions of the EFCC Act, 2006.
As employers of their elected representatives, Nigerians ought to know exactly what the lawmakers are being paid and this becomes more expedient in the circumstance considering the following Nigerian's Newspapers publications among others:
THISDAY of June 14, 2010 reported that the Senate intends to outdo their House of Representatives counterparts who are asking for 100 percent increment in pay of N45 million per member. Their reasoning: if each member of the House of Representatives wants N45M quarterly allowance, each Senator should take N95M every 3 months!
BUSINESSDAY reported that the Assemblymen and women have settled for N60 million and N45 million per senator and House member respectively.
VANGUARD of June 20, 2010 reported a statement that in addition to the regular and legitimate salaries and allowances of N17 million and N14.99 million which senators and Representatives were collecting yearly and the irregular allowance of estacodes, duty tours etc, they were also collecting N192m and N140m respectively in illegal quarterly allocation which is not provided for by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC.
NIGERIAN COMPASS of 28 May, 2010 also reported that the House of Representatives has just 'forced' the speaker, Dimeji Bankole to reduce his quarterly allowance from N140m to N100m or from an annual allowance of N560m to N400m. According to the newspaper, the highest legal annual salary and allowances of any federal legislator stands at N9, 118 million.
Other examined reports further alleged that the Senate President alone takes N250 million quarterly or N83.33 million per month while Senate Deputy President gets N150 million per quarter or N50 million a month.
THE SUN Newspaper said based on the new package approved by the RMAFC, suggested by Late President Yar'adua, each of the 107 senators (excluding the Senate President and his deputy) should collect N11 million in basic salaries and regular allowances every year while a member of the House of Representatives will get N9.9 million.
This means that even with the reduced salary package, a Nigeria senator still gets paid N11 million in regular salaries and allowances annually and N152m in four (quarterly) allocation making a total of $1.11m plus irregular allowances like estacodes and duty tour allowances.
It should be noted that due to the deliberate inability and the refusal of the members of the National Assembly to pass the Freedom of Information Bill, Nigerians are not sure, particularly since President Yar'Adua has passed away, whether his suggestion was adopted.
We are therefore left with the serial accusations implying that Senators and Members of the House of Representatives reportedly take home up to N351 million and N147 million per person respectively. Overall, the National Assembly is projected to cost a whooping N138 billion, according to the 2010 budget.
But with the budget already passed and signed into law, Nigeria news media reports that senators and House members began fresh moves to push quarterly allowances to N100 million and N45 million per person respectively and that the Senate President alone takes N250 million quarterly or N83.33 million per month. Senate Deputy President gets N150 million per quarter or N50 million a month.
There has been a major outcry by the Nigerian public following reports that legislators were sharing their budgets on quarterly basis, having collapsed both capital and recurrent budgets into one.
It beggars belief that while The President of the richest country in the world, Mr. Barrack Obama earned just $400, 000 per annum and British Prime Minister David Cameron goes home with £190,000 per annum (this includes total emolument of Salary plus allowances), each of our 109 senators earns $1.7 million per annum and each of 360 members of the House of Representatives earns $1.45 million per annum; whereas an American senator "earns $174, 000 per annum and a UK parliamentarian earns about $64, 000 per annum.
On August 4 2010, former President, Olusegun Obasanjo at a retreat for Niger State senior civil servants held in Abuja alleged that the National Assembly is a corrupt drain on the country's purse as it emerged that not less than N61 billion has been disbursed to the 469 federal lawmakers in the National Assembly this year alone for their operations.
Obasanjo said: 'We should look closely at the legislature so that they can be more open and transparent in the way they do their work. Nobody knows in detail how much it costs us to maintain a senator. I believe it is more than N250 million.
'Compare what it cost in 1999 and 2000. It cost about $1.7 million... They come up and say something is constituency project, what is this constituency project? They insert it in the budget, they would find the contractor and the contractor would work for them, that is constituency project? They then accuse some people of corruption, who are not corrupt', Obasanjo had said.
He continued: 'Now let us talk truly to ourselves seriously. We can't continue to have a National Assembly that is consuming a disproportional part of our resources and then expect that we would be able to make progress.
'They pass a budget that can't be implemented, because it has to be beefed up to satisfy their whims and caprices. Even what the ministries did not ask for, they put it,' Obasanjo said. - Daily Trust, August 5, 2010
The reports and the allegation coming from the Nigerian media and from no less personality of the erstwhile president respectively continues to raise apprehension on the unabated wanton looting and misappropriation of our commonwealth as this further reinforces the imperative to write you without hesitation as informed and disquieted Nigerians at home and in diasporas.
Our action further became more imperative when it is obvious that subject matter of the allegation we seek your investigation into is borne out the dreaded menace, corruption of which we urge you to have regards to the provisions of our sacred Constitution, particularly Section 15(5) which states thus;
'The State shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.'
The Apex Court, the Supreme Court of Nigeria in the case of A.-G., ONDO STATE V. A.-G., FEDERATION (2002) 9 NWLR (PT. 772) @ 306, paras. B-C held that:
'Corruption is not a disease which afflicts public officers alone but society as a whole'
The apex Court further urged us thus:
'If it is therefore to be eradicated effectively, the solution to it must be pervasive to cover every segment of the society.'
We were also further empowered to present the Petition upon the consideration of the previous decision of the Supreme Court in FAWEHINMI -V- AKILU (1987) 4 NWLR PART 67 @ 797 @ 832 held:
'The peace of the society is the responsibility of all persons in the country and as far as protection against crime is concerned; every person in the society is each other's keeper.'
In the circumstances, we therefore urge you to use your good offices to cause investigation into the allegation in the followings terms:
Confirm the actual and total payments made to each member of the National Assembly in salaries and allowances annually;
Investigate the veracity of the allegations of corruption and financial impropriety made by former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, against the members of the National Assembly;
Confirm whether it is legal for any chamber to collapse its recurrent and capital votes into one and share among members; would such a practice not amount to fraud and a breach of financial regulations in the public sector?
Ensure that the Lawmakers refund what has been illegitimately collected;
Ascertain whether any extant laws have been violated, by whom and punish the culprits accordingly;
Confirm under what extant laws the members of the National Assembly are appropriating Constituency Projects and directly collecting funds and whether they actually execute such Constituency projects.
Confirm that an Audit Report on the Constituency Projects claimed to be executed by members of the National Assembly for which they collect huge sums of money exist; If not, why should such an audit not be done?
Prosecute anybody found wanting in your investigation and ensure that the money dubiously collected and/or misappropriated is safely returned to the government treasury for the beneficial use of all Nigerians.
While we urge you to immediately cause the investigation accordingly, we respectfully wish to inform you that failure to act as requested will leave us with no option than to take recourse to our courts as well as embark on any appropriate civil action within and outside the shores of Nigeria to ensure that our demands are met.
Please note that this petition is part of our patriotic quest to transform our nation as well as maintaining the sanctimonious nature and spirit of our cherished constitution and other statutes to ensure progress and development of the Country.
Accept, please, the collective assurances of our highest regards.
Kayode AJULO, ESQ. Mr Law Mefor
Abuja, +234(0)8033154349 Abuja, +234(0)8037872893
For and on Behalf of:
1. Oluwatobi Adelaja - TNM Coordinator, Lagos, Nigeria
2. Noyo Edem - TNM Coordinator, New Jersey, USA
3. Timothy Dokpesi Adidi, TNM Coordinator, Laguna, Philippines
4. Miebi Anna Diri, TNM Coordinator, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
5. Akinyemi Adeseye - TNM Coordinator, Ecuador
6. Thomas Okrika George - TNM Coordinator, Kaduna, Nigeria
7. Ambrose Obimma - TNM Coordinator, Frederiskberg, Denmark
8. Isaac Oyebola - TNM Coordinator, Treviglio, Italy
9. Emmanuel Abadom - TNM Coordinator, London, UK
10. Peter Njoku - TNM Coordinator, Enugu, Nigeria
11. Afolabi Ashola - TNM Coordinator, Helsinki, Finland
12. Benjamin Bature - TNM Coordinator, Kiev, Ukraine
13. Philip Nwaochei - TNM Coordinator, Asaba, Nigeria
14. Joe Chukwu - TNM Coordinator, Dublin, Ireland
15. Olusegun Iawani - TNM Coordinator, Paris, France
16. F. Chuks Agu - TNM Coordinator, Rotherdam, Netherlands
17. Demilo Grant - TNM Coordinator, Halmstad, Sweden
18. Christian Egemonye - TNM Coordinator, Paraguay
19. Ezeh Donatus - TNM Coordinator, Malaysia
20. Okwenna Ifeanyi Hons - TNM Coordinator, Kano, Nigeria
21. Fidelis Anyika, TNM Coordinator, Owerri, Nigeria
22. Abdulrazaq O.Hamzat - TNM Coordinator, Ilorin, Nigeria
23. Rufus Oteniya - Milan, Italy
24. Ikem Igbodike - Lagos, Nigeria
25. Daniel Elombah - London, UK
26. Obi Ochije - Amsterdam, Netherlands
27. Modupe Odunsanya - USA
28. Ifeoluwa Adebayo - London, UK
29. Chinedu Vincent Akuta - Leicester, UK
30. Michael Adewunmi - North Carolina, USA
31. Emmanuel Ohai - Atlanta Georgia, USA
32. Nnamdi Nnalue - Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
33. Akeju Akintomiwa Aike - Warri, Nigeria
34. Chukwuemeka Reuben Okala - London, UK
35. Calvin A Lawan - Abuja, Nigeria.
36. Ogonna Anyabolu, Philadelphia PA USA.
37. Chima Ahanotu - Texas, USA
38. Adebowale Jeff Johnson - Lagos, Nigeria
39. Acho Orabuchi - Texas, USA
40. Gbenga Shadare - Nottingham, UK
41. Kevin Eneje - Ajah, Lagos, Nigeria
42. Umeh Chima Emmanuel
43. Hassan Olugbenga - Lagos, Nigeria
44. Dele Olaniyan - Kano, Nigeria
45. Kalu Idika Awa - Abuja, Nigeria
46. Okey Ifeachor - Welwyn Garden City, UK
47. Umar Gwallameji - Melbourne Florida, USA
48. Samaila Leeman- Kaduna, Nigeria
49. Obinna Gaspar Ibole - Nigeria
50. Ikenna Okoli - Lagos, Nigeria
51. Prince Victor Adefila - United Kingdom
52. Maria Eke - Worcester, UK
53. Biodun Adeyanju - Lagos, Nigeria
54. John, Philip Hayab - Kaduna, Nigeria
55. Okedara Olufemi A.- Lagos, Nigeria
56. Oriaifoh Cyril - Benin City, Nigeria
57. Ndi Chuks Syke Nwasike - VI, Lagos Nigeria
58. Ifeanyi Anthony - Onitsha, Nigeria
59. Ruth Aliyu Yaro - Abuja, Nigeria
60. Elems Iyke - Owerri, Nigeria
61. Leonard Eghosa-Igunbori - Benin City, Nigeria
62. Ziacham Bayei - Kafanchan, Nigeria
63. Francis Nwachukwu - Ilhas, Macau
64. Ayuba Usman Kalba - Abuja, Nigeria
65. Abiola austine-ushie - New Lagos, Nigeria
66. Francis Nonso - Hong Kong
67. Emeka Nwosu - Lagos, Nigeria
68. Maurice Okon Ekpenyong - Kaduna, Nigeria
69. Emeka Nwogu - Kaduna, Nigeria
70. Yemi Otedola - London, UK
71. Malizu Iwudoh - Lagos, Nigeria
72. Anyanwu Nkeiruka - Enugu, Nigeria
73. Ogo Maduewesi - Surulere, Lagos Nigeria
74. Fatima Omotayo Salami - KL, Malaysia
75. Emmanuel Usifo Jnr - Benin City, Nigeria
76. Nwosu Chukwuemeka, Lagos, Nigeria.
The Presidency, Abuja;
The Senate President, NASS, Abuja;
The Speaker, House of Representatives, NASS, Abuja;
Clerk of the National Assembly, NASS, Abuja;
Chairman, ICPC, Abuja;
DG, State Security Services, Abuja.
DG, Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission, Abuja;
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,
Attn: Mrs. Farida Waziri, OFR, AIG (Rtd.)