Saraki dragged to court for paying Senator serving jail term N85.5 million

Mr. Bukola Saraki, the Nigerian Senate president has been dragged to court for paying the sum of N85.5 million to Mr. Joshua Dariye, former Plateau state governor who bagged 10 years imprisonment for the diversion of public funds when he was a governor, who is currently in prison custody.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) in its latest suit against Saraki asked the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos to stop Saraki from dolling out the sum of N14.2 million monthly allowances to Dariye while he is still serving a jail term.

The organization says the action of Saraki and the National Assembly violates Nigerian law and international obligations.

The organization in its suit, says, in the last six months, Driye has collected N750, 000 salary and N13.5 million every month.

Worse still, the former governor was sentenced for stealing when serving as a governor and has continued to enjoy his allowances while in prison.

An action SERAP is angry about and has approached the court to put a stop to what it calls a violation of the law and international obligations.

By June this year, the Abuja High Court sentenced Mr. Dariye to 14 years imprisonment for stealing N1.162 billion plateau state ecological funds when he served as a governor.

However, the Court of appeal removed two years for Dariye and reduced his jail term to 10 years.
Last two weeks, the media reported how Dariye was paid a total sum of N85.5 million allowances while serving prison terms.

In the suit, the National Assembly Service Commission (NASSC) is joined as a co-defendant.

SERAP accused Saraki and the National Assembly of disregarding the Nigerian law and paying Dariye’s allowances even when he is serving a prison term and is unable to attend sittings and carry out his roles and responsibilities as a Senator.

The organization says the action of Saraki and the National Assembly has moral bankruptcy and sends a disturbing signal that corruption pays well in Nigeria.

Only senators who attend meetings and carry out their obligation deserve to be paid allowances and salaries, SERAP argues.

However, the court has not fixed a date for the hearing.

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