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SERAP Sues Buhari, Others Over ‘Missing N3.1bn In Finance Ministry’

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari.

The suit is in connection with “his failure to probe allegations that over N3bn of public funds are missing from the Federal Ministry of Finance, and to ensure the prosecution of those suspected to be responsible and the recovery of any missing public funds”.

In a statement issued on Sunday, SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, said there have been allegations by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation in the 2018 and 2019 annual audited reports that N3.1bn of public funds are missing, misappropriated, or unaccounted for.

SERAP, in the suit number FHC/L/CS/148/22 filed last Friday at the Federal High Court in Lagos, is seeking: “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Buhari to ensure the investigation of the alleged missing N3.1bn of public funds, the prosecution of anyone suspected to be responsible, and the recovery of any missing public money”.

It argued that “the allegations that over N3bn of public funds are missing amount to a fundamental breach of national anticorruption laws and the country’s international obligations including under the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party”.

“Investigating and prosecuting the allegations, and recovering any missing public funds would serve the public interest, and end the impunity of perpetrators.

“The consequences of corruption are felt by citizens on a daily basis. Corruption exposes them to additional costs, and undermines economic development of the country, trapping the majority of Nigerians in poverty and depriving them of opportunities,” the statement added.

Joined as Respondents in the suit are the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation; Abubakar Malami (SAN) and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed. No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

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