Insecurity: N5.5bn to Purchase SUV Cars for Senators ‘ll buy 36 Helicopters for Nigeria Police, BudgIT tells Senate President

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Nigeria’s civic tech organisation, BudgIT, has called on the Senate President, Dr. Ahmed Lawan, to shelve the planned purchase N5.5bn SUV cars for senators in the wake of the country’s security challenges.
According to the group, the money earmarked for the purchase of the vehicles will buy the Nigeria Police Force 36 helicopters to augment their fight against insecurity.
BudgIT in a tweet on its verified Twitter handle @BudgITng wrote: “Hello @DrAhmadLawan,
Going by current events, it’s painfully clear that Nigeria’s security is weak. Your planned N5.5bn SUV cars will get @PoliceNG 36 helicopters, one per state. Will you shelve your luxury plan for the security & safety of Nigerians?”
There has been mixed reactions since the plan by the Ahmed Lawan-led leadership of the 9th senate to purchase some exotic cars for senate committee chairmen and their deputies became public.
Also, a group of civil society organisations and 6,721 Nigerians had petitioned the Federal High Court in Lagos to stop the Senate from purchasing N5.5bn luxury vehicles for its principal members.

The class action was filed by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, BudgIT and Enough is Enough.

Some of the other plaintiffs are Bring-Back-Our-Girls co-conveners, Oby Ezekwesili and Aisha Yesufu; Jibrin Ibrahim, Edetaen Ojo, Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi and Deji Adeyanju.

In suit number FHC/L/CS/1511/2019 filed recently, the Federal High Court, Ikoyi Lagos, the plaintiffs argued: “Spending a huge sum of N5.550 billion to buy luxury cars for principal members of the ninth Senate is unjust and unfair. It negates the constitutional oath of office made by members to perform their functions in the interest of the well-being and prosperity of Nigeria and its citizens, as contained in the Seventh Schedule of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended).”

The plaintiffs also argued: “The proposed spending by the ninth Senate raises pertinent questions: What is the economic value and contribution of the vehicles sought to be purchased to the grand scheme of Nigeria’s economy? What are the parameters used to arrive at cost efficiency and value for money in the decision to purchase the vehicles? Where are the vehicles purchased by the eighth Senate?”

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