Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged Senate president Bukola Saraki and House Speaker Yakubu Dogara to “persuade their members to voluntarily return running costs and other allowances so far collected, and now declared as illegal by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), and to use any returned funds to establish a trust fund to improve investment in education and health.”

RMAFC declared the N13.5 million each senator gets monthly and the N10m for each representative as illegal.

It said the payment is not covered by the Certain Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders (Salaries and Allowances) (Amendments) Act 2008 governing emoluments of political office holders in the country.

SERAP said the National Assembly cannot use its appropriation power for personal gain of lawmakers.

“The revelation that the National Assembly unilaterally increased their own allowances and running costs without any regard to due process of law constitutes a flagrant abuse of governmental powers for personal gain.”

SERAP noted the Assembly would “never be able to check abuses of power by the executive or perform important oversight functions if the lawmakers are looking after themselves rather than standing up for the citizens.”