Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP) has sent a Freedom of Information Act (FoI) to President Muhammadu Buhari on alleged payments to private accounts.
SERAP has asked Buhari to direct Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance to publish a comprehensive list of names of people from whom N800billion in looted funds have been recovered and in the details of how the money was spend with 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 explained that the government’s anti-corruption fight has yielded over N800billion 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 deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization its call was consistent with fundamental principles of due process, and Nigeria’s international anti-corruption commitments.
It noted that the information will reveal the truth of where money is going, why it is there, and allow Nigerians an opportunity to assess the impacts of any projects carried out with the recovered loot and the alleged payments into individual accounts.
SERAP said 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, Nigeria has committed to ensure transparent management of public resources, and unhindered access to public information. It stressed that the commitments ought to be fully upheld and respected.
SERAP stated that tansparency over transactions by the government is critical to ensuring public confidence in the integrity of management of public resources.
“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”, i.