Missing ₦881bn: SERAP sues Buhari, others, wants recovery of funds

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sued President Muhammadu Buhari “for his inability to investigate allegations that over $880 billion in public funds are missing from 367 ministries, divisions, and agencies (MDAs).”

SERAP wants Buhari to ensure that individuals suspected of being responsible are prosecuted and that any misdirected public monies or funds that have gone missing are recovered.

The complaint followed the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation’s scathing claims in part 2 of its 2018 annual audited report that 367 MDAs spent $880,894,733,084.811 without any allocation.

This was revealed in a statement by Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP’s executive director.

SERAP is seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Buhari to promptly investigate the alleged missing N881 billion in public funds and to ensure the prosecution of those suspected to be responsible, as well as the full recovery of any missing, mismanaged, or diverted public funds” in a suit filed last week in the Federal High Court in Abuja.

“Compliance with constitutional obligations and international standards on the spending of public monies will ensure effective and efficient management of public resources, putting the country’s wealth and resources to work for the common welfare of all Nigerians,” according to SERAP.

It’s in the interest of justice to grant this application, as it would improve respect for the rights of Nigerians and improve their access to essential public goods and services, which ought to be provided by the indicted MDAs.

“President Buhari has a constitutional duty to ensure the investigation and prosecution of allegations of corruption, as well as recovery of any missing public funds. Section 15[5] of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution [as amended] requires the Buhari administration to abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.”

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

The date for the hearing of the suit is yet to be fixed

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