By Braxton Ilobah
The Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development Law, (NBA-SPIDEL) Dr Monday Ubani has asked the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami to direct the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, (RMAFC) to comply with the recent Federal High Court judgment on salaries of National Assembly members.
In a judgment delivered in the suit filed by Ubani at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos earlier this month, the court held that RMAFC and not the National Assembly Service Commission has the right to fix salaries of NASS members.
The court also directed RMAFC to commence a downward review of NASS member’s salaries and renumeration to reflect the present economic realities in the country.
In a letter dated June 21, 2021, Ubani drew the attention of the AGF to the judgment and urged him to immediately direct RMAFC, National Assembly Service Commission, the Senate and House of Representatives to comply with the court’s decision.
Part of the demand for compliance letter reads: “I write to inform you that on June 4, 2021, the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos delivered judgment in favour of the Plaintiffs with regard to the above named suit. The judgment is to the effect that:
“The Senate, The House of Representatives and the National Assembly service Commission have no power, close or semblance of power and cannot determine, direct, command and/or instruct the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission or any person howsoever, to make, determine and/or fix the salaries, wages, remuneration, running cost or allowances of the members of the National Assembly.
“The National Assembly Service Commission cannot or has no power whatsoever and howsoever to fix, determine or allocate the remuneration. Allowances, salaries, emolument or monetary values to the members of the National Assembly.
“The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission is the only body responsible for determining the salaries, remuneration and or allowances of the National Assembly or political office holders.
“In line with Section 32 (b)(d) of part I of third schedule of the Constitutional of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission should forthwith review and fix the salaries, remuneration or allowances of the members of the National Assembly to reflect the economic realities in the country. A Certified True Copy (CTC) of the said judgment is attached to this letter.
“I therefore urge you to use your good office to advise the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, the National Assembly Service Commission, the Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to respect the judiciary by complying with the above stated judgment of the Court.”