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23 Dec 2018

Saraki sued by SERAP for paying Dariye N14.2m monthly allowance in prison

Human rights and transparency group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has instituted a legal action to stop the Senate president, Bukola Saraki, from paying Senator Joshua Dariye the sum of N14.2m monthly allowances while he serves out a 10-year prison sentence for corruption.

SERAP in a lawsuit filled at the Federal High Court in Lagos urged the court to stop the monthly allowances to Dariye, who is former Plateau state governor, because such payment violates Nigerian law and international obligations, Vanguard reports.

The transparency group in the suit alleged that Senator Dariye is still receiving the sum of N750,000 salary and N13.5m monthly allowances from the Nigerian Senate months after his conviction for diverting N1.162 billion state ecological funds while he was governor.

It argued that the continuous payment of Dariye’s allowances while he serves out a 10-year prison term and unable perform the functions of a senator undermines the rule of law and sends a message that corruption pays in Nigeria.

The organisation said the stoppage of the payment to Dariye would ensure that only sitting and serving senators are worthy of drawing salaries and allowances from the public treasury.

Meanwhile, following the ripples of controversy generated by the alleged purchase of senatorial nomination form and expression of interest by Senator Joshua Dariye, currently serving a jail term, the Plateau state All Progressives Congress (APC) has backed the senator's decision, adding that he isn't the first to do so.

Premium Times reports that Bashir Sati, the state secretary of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), has confirmed that the convict actually purchased the form and is expected to submit before the deadline given by the party.

When pressed further, Bashir said Dariye's action was inspired by the political precedence, referring to how former deputy governor of Osun state, Iyiola Omisore, won a senatorial election while serving in jail on charges of murder.

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