SERAP Sues President Tinubu, Demanding Probe Into Missing Billions

SERAP Sues Tinubu, Demands Probe Into Missing Billions

8 months ago
1 min read

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit, seeking to compel President Tinubu to probe the alleged disappearance of over US$15 billion in oil revenues and N200 billion earmarked for refinery repairs between 2020 and 2021, as detailed in the 2021 report by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

In the suit, SERAP is not only demanding a thorough investigation but also urging the President to direct anti-corruption agencies to examine corruption allegations involving key entities such as the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited (NPDC), Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NPDC), and State Owned Enterprises (SOE).

Additionally, SERAP is pressing for the use of any recovered proceeds from corruption to benefit the welfare of Nigerians.

READ ALSO: SERAP Asks Court To Stop Purchase Of N57.6bn SUVs For Nigerian Lawmakers

Speaking on the matter, SERAP emphasizes the importance of justice and accountability: “There is a legitimate public interest in ensuring justice and accountability for these serious allegations. Granting the reliefs sought would end the impunity of perpetrators and ensure justice for victims of corruption, the allegations of corruption documented by NEITI undermine the economic development of the country, trap the majority of Nigerians in poverty, and deprive them of opportunities.”

SERAP’s suit underscores the necessity of addressing longstanding corruption and mismanagement of oil revenues, which has eroded public trust and confidence in the government. The organization contends that these issues not only violate Nigeria’s constitutional and legal frameworks but also contravene the country’s international obligations under the UN Convention against Corruption.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of SERAP, articulates the government’s constitutional duty: “The Tinubu government has a constitutional duty to ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of the country’s oil wealth.”

The NEITI 2021 report highlights various irregularities in the utilization of public funds by government agencies, including the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NNPC) and the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NPDC).

These agencies allegedly failed to remit substantial sums to the public treasury, raising concerns over the missing funds. The report also calls for an investigation into the State Owned Enterprises (SOE), which purportedly spent an amount on behalf of the Federal Government without appropriation by the National Assembly.

NNPC and NPDC’s failure to remit $13.591 million and $8.251 billion to the public treasury.

Lack of transparency regarding a $3 billion loan taken by NNPC in 2012 for settling subsidy payments. Questionable handling of N9.73 billion in pipeline transportation revenue. Failure to remit $7.61 million from crude oil sales by NPDC.Expenditure of N200 billion on refinery rehabilitation between 2020 and 2021, with no operational refineries to show for it.

Joined as a Respondent in the lawsuit is Mr. Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice. No date has been set for the hearing of the case, leaving the Nigerian public awaiting a  legal battle for accountability and transparency in the nation’s oil sector.

Emmanuel Ochayi is a journalist. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, School of first choice and the nations pride. Emmanuel is keen on exploring writing angles in different areas, including Business, climate change, politics, Education, and others.


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