HighlightTrending Story

Compel Tinubu to account for N400bn saved from petrol subsidy removal, SERAP asks court

149

President Bola Tinubu has been taken to court over his failure to publish spending details of about N400 billion so far saved from subsidy removal on petrol as it smacks of lack of transparency and accountability.

In a suit filed last week at the Federal High Court, Lagos, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) is seeking.an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Tinubu to publish details of spending of about N400 billion saved as a result of the removal of subsidy on petrol on 29 May, 2023.

SERAP, among others, is also seeking: “An order of mandamus to direct and compel President Tinubu to provide details of the plans on how the savings from the removal of subsidy on petrol, including specific projects on which the funds would be spent.

“An order of mandamus to compel President Tinubu to provide details of the mechanisms that have been put in place to ensure that the savings from the removal of subsidy on petrol are not diverted into private pockets.

“That Nigerians have the right to know how the savings are spent. Disclosing the spending details of the savings would reduce the risks of corruption in the spending of the funds.

“That the Tinubu government has a legal obligation to ensure that the savings from the removal of subsidy on petrol are spent solely for the benefit of the 137 million poor Nigerians who are bearing the brunt of the removal.

“Opacity in the spending of the savings from subsidy removal would have negative impacts on the fundamental interests of the citizens and the public interest.

“The savings from subsidy removal may be embezzled, misappropriated or diverted into private pockets.”

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers — Mr Kolawole Oluwadare, Ms Adelanke Aremo, and Ms Valentina Adegoke.

In a statement given to Persecondnews on Sunday, SERAP also said: “Transparency would increase public trust and confidence that these savings would be used to benefit Nigerians.

“The Nigerian Constitution, 1999 [as amended], Freedom of Information Act, and the country’s anti-corruption and human rights obligations rest on the principle that citizens should have access to information regarding their government’s activities.

“Prevention of corruption in the spending of savings from the removal of subsidy on petrol and preventing and addressing the challenges caused by the removal are serious and legitimate public interests.

“The Tinubu government has a legal obligation to protect individuals against the threat posed to human rights by the removal of subsidy on petrol, and to effectively address the aftermath of subsidy removal.

“Unless the government is compelled and directed to publish the spending details of the savings from the removal of subsidy on petrol, the removal will continue to undermine the rights of Nigerians, and increase their vulnerability to poverty.

“The implementation of the National Social Safety Net Programme (NASSP) and spending on the program have been mostly shrouded in secrecy.

“Publishing the details of the spending of the N400bn and other savings from the removal of subsidy would also ensure that persons with public responsibilities are answerable to the people for the performance of their duties.

“Transparency and accountability in the spending details of the N400bn saved as a result of the removal of subsidy on petrol, and on the spending of subsequent savings from the removal would mean that the savings can help poor Nigerians to overcome the effects of such removal.

“It would also help to avoid a morally repugnant result of double jeopardy on poor and socially and economically vulnerable Nigerians.

“The lack of transparency and accountability in the spending of savings from the removal of subsidy on petrol and the resulting human costs would directly threaten fundamental human rights that the government has an obligation to protect.

“The Tinubu government has the legal obligations to address the effects of subsidy removal on the human rights of 137 million poor Nigerians, and to prevent and address some of the direst consequences that the removal may reap on human rights, especially given the disproportionate impact on these Nigerians.”

While insisting that the removal of subsidy on petrol continues to negatively and disproportionately affect poor Nigerians, undermining their right to adequate standard of living, SERAP stated: “Many years of allegations of corruption and mismanagement in the spending of public funds and entrenched impunity of perpetrators have undermined public trust and confidence in governments at all levels.

“The Freedom of Information Act, Section 39 of the Nigerian Constitution, article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights guarantee to everyone the right to information, including the details of how the N400bn and other savings from the removal of subsidy on petrol would be spent.

“By the combined reading of the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution, the Freedom of Information Act, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, there are transparency obligations imposed on the government to widely publish the details of how the N400bn and other savings from the removal of subsidy on petrol are spent.

“Section 13 of the Nigerian Constitution imposes clear responsibility on the government to conform to, observe and apply the provisions of Chapter 2 of the constitution. Section 15(5) imposes the responsibility on the government to ‘abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power’ in the country.

“Under Section 16(1) of the Constitution, the government has a responsibility to ‘secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every citizen on the basis of social justice and equality of status and opportunity

“Section 16(2) further provides that, ‘the material resources of the nation are harnessed and distributed as best as possible to serve the common good.”

“Similarly, articles 5 and 9 of the UN Convention against Corruption also impose legal obligations on the government to ensure proper management of public affairs and public funds, and to promote sound and transparent administration of public affairs,” SERAP stated.

Leave a comment

Related Articles

Extend AKK gas pipeline project to other northern states, ACF urges Pres. Tinubu

The Arewa Consultative Forum has called on President Bola Tinubu to extend...

NAF air strikes destroy 13 illegal refining sites in Imo, Rivers, and Bayelsa states

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) operation “Delta Safe” has destroyed at least...

Again, Dangote Refinery accuses IOCs of manipulating oil prices to sabotage Nigerian refinery

Mr. Devakumar Edwin, Vice President of Oil and Gas at Dangote Industries...

Tarry on purchase of presidential jets for now, TCM urges FG

Comrade Frank Pius Onyeka, the National Coordinator of the Collective Movement (TCM),...

The president and founder of LoveWorld Incorporated (Christ Embassy), Pastor Chris Oyakhilome,...

Alake presents symbolic gold bars to Pres. Tinubu

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake, has presented gold...

Emirship crisis: Kano govt. allocates N99.9m for Nassarawa mini-palace renovation

In response to the court’s order reinstating him, the Kano State Government...

Christ Embassy fire now under control, says Lagos Fire Service

The Director of Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, Mrs. Margaret Adeseye,...

Gunmen kidnap police orderly, driver of prominent Rivers monarch

Unknown gunmen have kidnapped a police officer and the driver of a...

Tragedy as robbers invade Abuja estate, kill retired Brigadier General

A deadly robbery attack occurred at the Sunshine Homes estate in Abuja’s...

FG to relocate 29 correctional centres in Lagos, Enugu, Oyo, others- Interior Minister

The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has announced that the Federal Government...

SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive Luxe USB Type-C delivers seamless data storage, transfers solutions for users on the go

In today’s digital age, where capturing and sharing high-definition (HD) and ultra-high-definition...

Ex-Vice President Atiku visits Buhari, Emirs of Daura, Kastina

Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President and presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic...

FAAN launches joint task force to combat touting, enhance airports’ security

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has set up a special...

Lagos Police Command detains two officers for unauthorized operation resulting in civilian’s death

The Lagos State Police Command has taken two police officers into custody...

Unregistered locally brewed tiger nuts drink linked to cholera outbreak in Lagos – LASG

Dr. Kemi Ogunyemi, the Special Adviser on Health to the Lagos State...

Binance Executive Gambaryan has access to quality medical care, Nigerian Govt. tells US Congressmen

The Nigerian Government has refuted allegations that Binance Executive Tigran Gambaryan is...

Gov. Abiodun issues three executive orders, establishes two new agencies, restrains monarchs on land, mining

Ogun Gov. Dapo Abiodun has issued three executive orders to pave the...

CLO, 40 CSOs to IGP: Withdraw policemen from Rivers 23 councils’ secretariats or face mass protests

The Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) and more than 40 allied groups said...

CAF announces new date for 2025 AFCON in Morocco

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Patrice Motsepe said on Friday...