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SERAP sues Buhari over failure to publish details of N800b recovered funds

THE SOCIO-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has instituted a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari, over his failure to publish details of names of people from whom N800 billion looted funds have been recovered.

Kolawole Oluwadare, Deputy Director of SERAP in a statement on Sunday, noted that the President had, in paragraph 78 of his speech to mark Democracy Day on June 12, 2020, stated that: “the government has recovered looted funds in excess of N800 billion. These monies are being ploughed into development and infrastructure projects.”

“We’ve filed a lawsuit before the Federal High Court, Abuja against President Buhari over failure to publish details of names of people from whom N800 billion in looted funds have been recovered, dates of the recovery, and details of projects on which the money has been spent,” Oluwadare said.

According to him, the organisation is also seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Buhari to instruct appropriate anti-corruption agencies to promptly, thoroughly and transparently investigate alleged payment of N51 billion of public funds into individual private accounts in 2019.”

Joined in the suit as respondents are Abubakar Malami, SAN, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and  Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

In the suit, SERAP is arguing that the court should compel the respondents to disclose the details and whereabouts of the public funds.

“There is no legally justifiable reason why the information should not be made widely available to Nigerians, especially as the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended) requires the government in section 15(5) to abolish all forms of corruption.”

“That means ensuring transparency and accountability in the management of public resources and wealth,” it stated.

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