SERAP sues governors, Wike over alleged failure to account for FAAC allocations

SOCIO-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sued the Nigeria’s 36 governors and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nyesom Wike for failing to account for the spending of trillions of FAAC allocations received by their states and the FCT since 1999.

According to a statement by the organisation on Sunday, May 19, the development followed reports that the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) disbursed N1.123 trillion to the federal, state, and local governments for March 2024 and another N1.208 trillion in April. 

In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/666/2024 filed last Friday, May 17, at the Federal High Court, Abuja, SERAP sought the court to “direct and compel the governors and Mr. Wike to publish spending details of the FAAC allocations collected by their states and the FCT since 1999 including the list and locations of projects executed with the money.”

SERAP was also asking the court to “compel the governors and Mr Wike to invite the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission [ICPC] to probe any allegations of corruption linked to the allocations and to monitor how the money is spent.”

It further argued that Nigerians need to know how public funds, including FAAC allocations, are spent by the governors and FCT minister.

SERAP said that opaqueness that characterise spending of the FAAC allocations collected by the governors and Wike would continue to have negative impacts on the fundamental interests of the citizens.

The organisation noted that without the information on the spending details of the FAAC allocations, Nigerians cannot follow the actions of their states and the FCT.




     

     

    The suit filed by the organisation’s lawyer Kolawole Oluwadare, Kehinde Oyewumi and Andrew Nwankwo, read in part: “The governors and FCT minister have a legal obligation to provide the information sought including the list of specific projects completed with the FAAC allocations collected, the locations of any such projects and completion reports of the projects.”

    “The information sought should also include details of the salaries and pensions paid from the FAAC allocations collected, as well as the details of projects executed on hospitals and schools with the FAAC allocations.”

    “Despite the increased FAAC allocations to states and FCT, millions of residents in several states and the FCT continue to face extreme poverty and lack access to basic public goods and services.”

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    The filed suit which also stated that the reported removal of petrol subsidy and the floating of the exchange rate by the Federal Government has translated into increased FAAC allocations to states and the FCT, observed, however, that there is no corresponding improvement in the security and welfare of millions of Nigerians.

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    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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