President Buhari at dinner in the Villa
Group sues FG over budgeted N26bn for Buhari’s travels, feeding, Villa Clinic
A group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja, against the presidency’s 2022 budgeted N26 billion for President Buhari’s travels, meals, and the Aso Rock Medical Centre.
SERAP, a civil society organization, in the suit filed by its lawyers, Kolawole Oluwadare and Ms Adelanke Aremo, is seeking a court order to slash the budget and present a reviewed appropriation bill to the National Assembly, NASS.
The organization is also seeking an order of mandamus to direct and compel the Presidency to publish spending details on the State House Medical Centre since May 29, 2015.
SERAP’s lawyers argue in their submission before the court that the 2022 budget for Buhari’s local and foreign travels, meals and refreshments, sitting allowance, welfare package and office building is bigger than what has been allocated to 14 teaching hospitals in the country.
“According to reports, the proposed N26 billion on travels, meals, refreshments and the presidential wing of the State House Clinic is more than the proposed allocations for ongoing and new projects in 14 teaching hospitals combined.
“For instance, N19.17 billion is allocated to the following teaching hospitals: UNILAG Teaching Hospital—N1.69bn; ABU Teaching Hospital—N2.38bn; University College Hospital, Ibadan—N1.49bn; and UNN Teaching Hospital—N1.38bn.
“It is in the public interest to stop the government from spending so much money on these items,” the civil society organization stressed.
“The government would continue to borrow to fund the country’s budget until there is a substantial cut to the cost of governance.
“Persistent borrowing is neither sustainable nor fair to the Nigerian people,” SERAP added.
The court has yet to fix a date to entertain the matter.