Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit against President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, over “the failure to probe allegations that $2.1 billion and N3.1 trillion public funds of oil revenues budgeted as fuel subsidy payments are missing and unaccounted for between 2016 and 2019.”
The suit followed the grim allegations documented by the Auditor-General of the Federation in the 2016 and 2019 annual reports, that the public funds are missing.
In the suit number FHC/L/CS/1107/23, filed last Friday, at the Federal High Court in Lagos, SERAP is seeking: “An order of mandamus to direct and compel President Tinubu to promptly probe allegations that $2.1 billion and N3.1 trillion public funds are missing and unaccounted for between 2016 and 2019.”
It is also seeking “an order of mandamus to compel President Tinubu to direct the anti-corruption agencies to promptly probe fuel subsidy payments made by governments since the return of democracy in 1999, name and shame and prosecute suspected perpetrators, and to recover any proceeds of crimes.”
SERAP is also seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Tinubu to use any recovered proceeds of crime as palliatives to address the impact of the subsidy removal on poor Nigerians, and to put in place mechanisms for transparency and accountability in the oil sector.”
In the suit, SERAP is arguing that the allegations that $2.1 billion and N3.1 trillion of public funds are missing and unaccounted, which amounts to a fundamental breach of national anti corruption laws and the country’s international obligations, including under the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party.
The group is also arguing that, “the Tinubu government has constitutional and international legal obligations to get to the bottom of these allegations and ensure accountability for these serious crimes against the Nigerian people.”
SERAP said: “Directing and compelling President Tinubu to promptly probe, name and shame and bring to justice the perpetrators and to recover any missing public funds would advance the right of Nigerians to restitution, compensation and guarantee of non-repetition.”
No date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.