Again, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has challenged the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to publish within seven days a comprehensive list of people from whom N800 billion looted funds have been recovered
The anti-graft NGO also urged the president to direct anti-graft agencies to investigate allegations that payments totalling N51billion were made into individual accounts in 2019.
It said if after seven days no action was taken, it will take all appropriate legal actions under the Freedom of Information Act to compel Buhari to comply.
SERAP, in a Freedom of Information Act (FoI) request to Buhari, asked him to direct Mr Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance to publish comprehensive list of names of the looters of the N800 billion, the details of how the money was spent and the dates of the recovery.
SERAP reminded Buhari that in his speech to mark the occasion of the Democracy Day on June 12, 2020, he disclosed that the government’s anti-corruption fight has yielded over N800 billion in recovered loot.The body recalled BudgIT’s report that the open treasury portal by the federal government has allegedly shown that payments totalling N51 billion were made into individual accounts in 2019.
SERAP, in a June 13 letter signed by the Deputy Director, Mr Kolawole Oluwadare, said the call was “consistent with fundamental principles of due process, and Nigeria’s international anti-corruption commitments.”
According to the body, the required information will reveal where money is going, if it is still there and facilitate assessment of the impacts of any projects carried out with the recovered loot and the alleged payments into individual accounts.
“Nigeria as a signatory to the UN Convention against Corruption, the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights has committed to ensure transparent management of public resources, and unhindered access to public information.”
SERAP said Nigeria’s commitments ought to be fully upheld and respected.
“Transparency over transactions by the government is critical to ensuring public confidence in the integrity of management of public resources,” it said in the statement given to PerSecondnews.
“We would be grateful if the requested information is provided to us within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, the Registered Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions under the Freedom of Information Act to compel you to comply with our request.”