Court orders Assembly to disclose lawmakers’ packages

A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Clerk of the National Assembly to disclose details of the salary, emoluments and allowances collected by members of the Senate and House of Representatives between 2007 and last year. Delivering judgment in a suit by Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEPAD), Justice Bilikisu Bello Aliyu held that the Freedom of Information Act 2011 permits the group to demand for any public information. “They are of public interest since the payments were from public funds’’, she said. LEDAP, a non-governmental organization, had in its July 6 letter addressed to the Clerk of the National Assembly requested for the information under Section 2 and 3 of the Freedom of Information Act. Following the Clerk’s refusal to accede to the request, LEDAP in September last year filed a suit asking the court to compel the Clerk of the National Assembly to furnish it with the requested information. It claimed in the suit that the legislators were overpaid beyond the rate approved by the law and demanded refund of overpayments. The Court ordered the National Assembly to release the information within 14 days of the judgment.


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