Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP) has sent a Freedom of Information Act (FoI) to President Muhammadu Buhari on alleged payments to private accounts.
The body asked Buhari to direct Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance to publish a comprehensive list of names of people from whom N800billion in looted funds have been recovered, the details of spending of the money and the dates of the recovery.
It also urged the president to direct anti-graft agencies to investigate allegations that payments totaling N51billion were made into individual accounts in 2019.
SERAP reminded Buhari that in his speech to mark the occasion of the Democracy Day on June 12, 2020, he disclosed that the government’s anti-corruption fight has yielded over N800billion in recovered loot.
The body recalled BudgIT’s report that the open treasury portal by the federal government has allegedly shown that payments totaling N51 billion were made into individual accounts in 2019.
SERAP, in a June 13 letter signed by deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization its call was consistent with fundamental principles of due process, and Nigeria’s international anti-corruption commitments.
It noted that the information will reveal the truth of where the money is going, why it is there, and allow Nigerians an opportunity to assess the impacts of any projects carried out with the recovered loot and the alleged payments into individual accounts.
SERAP said as a signatory to the UN Convention against Corruption, the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Nigeria has committed to ensuring transparent management of public resources, and unhindered access to public information.
It stressed that the commitments ought to be fully upheld and respected.
SERAP stated that transparency over transactions by the government is critical to ensuring public confidence in the integrity of the management of public resources.