The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari “over his failure to probe allegations that over ₦880billion of public funds are missing from 367 ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).”
SERAP wants Buhari to ensure the prosecution of those suspected to be responsible and to order the recovery of diverted public or any missing funds.
The suit followed the stern allegations contained in part 2 of the 2018 annual audited report by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation that ₦880,894,733,084.811 was spent by 367 MDAs without any appropriation.
This was disclosed in a statement by Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP’s Deputy Director, on Sunday.
In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1281/2021 filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja last week, SERAP is seeking: “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Buhari to promptly investigate the alleged missing N881bn of public funds and to ensure the prosecution of those suspected to be responsible, and the full recovery of any missing, mismanaged or diverted public funds.”
SERAP is also arguing that: “Complying with constitutional requirements and international standards on the spending of public funds would ensure effective and efficient management of public resources, and put the country’s wealth and resources to work for the common good of all Nigerians.
“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 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.