The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to list the names of suspects involved in crude theft, as poor Nigerians are paying for their crime.
In a letter to the President, SERAP opined that both state and non-state actors are involved in the stealing of the country’s oil wealth, which should be used solely for the benefit of the Nigerian people.
SERAP asked that an investigation should be launched dating back to 2001 till date. The organisation’s request came after the Navy discovered illegal 48-inch oil pipeline used to divert crude from the Trans Forcados Export Terminal.
Addressing the impact of crude theft, SERAP said, “Poor and socio-economically vulnerable Nigerians have continued to pay the price for the stealing of the country’s oil wealth apparently by both state and non-state actors.
“Your government has a legal obligation to ensure that the country’s oil wealth is used solely for the benefit of the Nigerian people, and that the wealth does not end up in private pockets, for the sake of the present and future generations.”
SERAP added that, “Despite the country’s substantial oil wealth, successive governments have largely squandered the opportunity to use the wealth to improve the lives and well-being of ordinary Nigerians. This is a clear violation of the government’s anti-corruption and human rights obligations.
“SERAP is concerned that the illegal pipelines have been operated for many years without notice, implying a flagrant violation of constitutional and international obligations to ensure the proper, effective and efficient management of the country’s wealth and natural resources.
“It is in the public interest to promptly investigate the discovery of the illegal pipelines, publish the names of those suspected to be involved, and ensure that they are brought to justice, and that any proceeds of crime are fully recovered.
“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.”
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