Akpabio Under Fire over Holiday Allowances: SERAP to Sue Senator
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News - August 10, 2023

Akpabio Under Fire over Holiday Allowances: SERAP to Sue Senator

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) plans to initiate legal proceedings against Senate President Godswill Akpabio. This action stems from the claimed distribution of ‘holiday allowances’ to senators, who are presently on recess, by the Clerk of the National Assembly.

This development arises just under a month following the advocacy group’s warning of potential legal action against Akpabio and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas. The initial concern was centered around the controversial proposal to allocate N40 billion for the acquisition of 465 luxurious and bulletproof vehicles for members and key officials, along with an additional N70 billion designated as assistance funds for new members.

The revelation is documented in a tweet shared by SERAP via its official Twitter account on Thursday, August 10, 2023. This underscores the ongoing commitment of the advocacy group to combat financial misappropriation and violations of essential human rights.

SERAP motion for intending to file a lawsuit

In a recent tweet, SERAP revealed its intention to file a lawsuit against Senate President Godswill Akpabio. This is in connection with the alleged disbursement of ‘holiday allowances’ by the Clerk of the National Assembly to senators, while a staggering 137 million impoverished Nigerians continue to face severe economic struggles. 

While the precise details of the forthcoming legal action and specific charges remain somewhat unclear, this move once again amplifies the pressure on federal lawmakers concerning their substantial salaries and benefits, which purportedly persist despite the considerable hardships and economic challenges endured by the Nigerian population.

What you should note

Senate President Godswill Akpabio has faced substantial backlash following an inadvertent disclosure wherein he revealed that holiday allowances had been deposited into the bank accounts of senators who were preparing for their annual recess.

He said “ “In order to enable all of us to enjoy our holidays, a token has been sent to our various accounts by the Clerk of the National Assembly.”

During a session on Monday before the Senate adjourned for its yearly break, Akpabio informed his fellow senators that funds had been transferred to them to facilitate their “enjoyment” during the holiday period, seemingly unaware that his remarks were being recorded on live camera.

He said “I withdraw that statement. In order to allow you to enjoy your holiday, the senate president has sent prayers to your mailboxes to assist you to go on a safe journey and return.”

Akpabio’s blunder ignited a wave of controversy throughout the country, sparking debates about the authenticity and appropriateness of these monetary transfers. Detractors contend that offering such allowances, especially at a time when a substantial segment of the population is grappling with economic difficulties, appears not only inequitable but also lacking in empathy.

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