The Socioeconomic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit against President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for “failing to investigate allegations that $2.1 billion and N3.1 trillion in public funds came from oil and is budgeted for when fuel subsidy payments are missing and missing from 2016 to 2019.”
The lawsuit follows allegations recorded by the Federation’s Auditor General in its 2016 and 2019 annual reports that public funds are underfunded.
This was said by Kolawole Oluwadare, Deputy Director of SERAP, in a statement published on Sunday, June 11, 2023.
In petition No. FHC/L/CS/1107/23 filed last Friday in Federal Superior Court in Lagos, SERAP is seeking: “an order to direct and compel President Tinubu to promptly investigate allegations that US$2.1 billion and N$3.1 trillion in public funds were missing and unaccounted for between 2016 and 2016. until 2019.”
SERAP is also looking for: “an order obliging President Tinubu to direct anti-corruption agencies to promptly investigate fuel subsidy payments made by governments since the return of democracy in 1999, naming and shame and prosecute the suspected perpetrators, and recover any proceeds of crime.”
SERAP is also looking for: “an order to direct and compel President Tinubu to use any proceeds of crime as a mitigating measure to address the impact of the subsidy removal on the poor of Nigeria, and to provide transparency and accountability mechanisms in the oil sector.”
In the lawsuit, SERAP argued that: “Allegations that US$2.1 billion and N3 trillion in public funds are missing and are not counted as a fundamental violation of national anti-corruption laws and a country’s international obligations, including including the United Nations Convention against Corruption, of which Nigeria is a party.”
SERAP also argues that, “The Tinubu government has international and constitutional legal obligations to get to the bottom of these allegations and ensure accountability for these serious crimes against the people of Nigeria.”
According to SEAP, “Directing and forcing President Tinubu to promptly investigate, name and shame and bring to justice the perpetrators and recover any public money owed will advance the right of Nigerians to be compensated. compensation, compensation and guarantee not to recur.”
SERAP also argues that, “Allegations of corruption in fuel subsidy payments show that the poor rarely benefit from the use and administration of the payments.”
The lawsuit, filed by their attorneys, Oluwadare, Ms. Adelanke Aremo, Ms. Valentina Adegoke and Ayomide Johnson on behalf of SERAP, reads as follows: “There is no economic growth or sustainability without accountability for human rights crimes.
“Poor and socioeconomically vulnerable Nigerians should not continue to pay the price for stealing the country’s oil resources while state and non-state actors pocket the public funds.
“Investigating and prosecuting the allegations, and recovering any missing public funds, will serve the public interest, ensure justice and accountability, and end entrenched unpunished”.
No date has been set for a hearing on the case.
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