Femi Falana (SAN) has insisted that it is at variance with the official policy of the Federal Government for President Muhammadu Buhari’s children to use any jet in the presidential fleet.
Falana, on Sunday in a statement, said the use of the President’s jet for personal use as an abuse of office.
The human right lawyer said it’s not true the claim by the presidency that by tradition, all members of the first family have the right to use the presidential jet for private engagements.
Recall that Buhari’s daughter, Hanan, had last week used the presidential jet for a private photography session in Bauchi State.
Falana said: “With respect, the statement credited to the Presidency is incorrect as it is at variance with the official policy of the Federal Government.
In other words, the official policy does not authorise the children of the President to use the presidential jets to attend to private social functions.
“In fact, there is no precedent whatsoever for such privatisation of the presidency of Nigeria.
Having publicly declared that his administration would maintain ‘a compact and reliable aircraft for the safe airlift of the President, the Vice-President and other government officials that go on special missions’ President Buhari is stopped from allowing members of the first family to use the jets for their private affairs.”
He asked the Presidency to apologise to Nigerians rather than justifying the act. He reminded President Buhari that Nigeria cannot continue to waste over N8billion yearly on the maintenance of the presidential jets.
Falana also charged the President to honour his pledge to cut down the cost of governance by reducing the number of planes in the presidential fleet.
The social critic added: “In view of the foregoing, we call on President Buhari to stop the members of his family from using any of the aircraft in the presidential fleet with a view to cutting down on waste.
A country that is said to be the headquarters of the greatest number of poverty-stricken people in the world cannot afford to waste billions of naira on the use of presidential aircraft and hiring of commercial jets by state governors that are owing workers several months of unpaid salaries.”