The African Centre for Media and Information Literacy, AFRICMIL, a civil society organisation, has filed a suit against President Muhammadu Buhari over the purchase of 12 Tucano aircraft worth $496 million without the approval of the National Assembly.
The funds were withdrawn from the excess crude account (ECA).
The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1179/2018 has the senate president, the senate, speaker of the house of representatives, and the house of representatives as defendants.
AFRICMIL said it filed the suit based on subsections three and four of section 80 of the constitution.
The organisation said it is challenging the authority of the president, as an individual, to withdraw money from public funds without approval by the national assembly.
“No monies shall be withdrawn from any public fund of the federation, other than the consolidated revenue fund of the federation, unless the issue of those moneys has been authorized by the act of the national assembly,” it said.
“No moneys shall be withdrawn from the consolidated revenue fund or any other public fund of the federation, except in the manner prescribed by the national assembly.”
Buhari later asked the lawmakers to include the expense in the 2018 budget.
The plaintiffs are asking the court to determine: “Whether the fifth defendant (Buhari) has the power to or right to withdraw and spend the sum of $462,000,000.00 (Four hundred and sixty two million dollars only) or any other amount whatsoever from the public fund of the federation on the payment for or purchase of Super Tucano Aircraft or aircraft by whatever name called without the prior approval of the withdrawal of the amount and its spending by the 2nd and 4th defendants (National Assembly) in the light of the provisions of section 81, 82 and 83 of the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.”