Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: Fuel Subsidy - SNG Sues Jonathan

The Save Nigeria Group (SNG) has instituted a suit against President Goodluck Jonathan at the Federal High Court, Ikeja, Lagos, for allegedly withdrawing unappropriated N2.587.087 trillion from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, allegedly to meet petroleum subsidy payments for the 2011 financial year.

In the suit, filed on its behalf by its lawyer, Tope Adebayo, in which the attorney-general of the federation was joined as a respondent, the SNG submitted for determination by the court "whether the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or any other person acting on his instructions can lawfully withdraw and expend monies from the Consolidated Revenue Fund or any other public funds of the federation without authorisation by an Appropriation Act, Supplementary Appropriation Act or any Act of the National Assembly."

The plaintiffs also want the court to determine among other things "whether the act of the 1st Defendant in withdrawing and/or directing the withdrawal of the unappropriated sum of N2,587,087,000,000.00 (two trillion, five hundred and eighty seven billion and eighty seven million naira) only from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation (instead of the sum of N245 billion authorised by the Appropriation Act 2011 to meet petroleum subsidy payments for the 2011 financial year, when the alleged expenditure of the said N2,587,087,000,000.00 is neither charged upon that Consolidated Revenue Fund nor authorised by the Appropriation Act 2011, Supplementary Appropriation Act 2011 or an Act passed in pursuance of Section 81 of the Constitution; is not unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and of no effect whatsoever."

The SNG wants the court to declare that "neither the 1st Defendant acting as the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria nor any of his authorised representatives is entitled to withdraw and/or expend monies from the Consolidation Revenue Fund or any other public funds of the federation without authorisation by an Appropriation Act, Supplementary Appropriation Act or any Act of the National Assembly."

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