Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari over his failure to probe allegations that over N880 billion of public funds are missing from 367 ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to ensure the prosecution of those suspected to be responsible, and the recovery of any missing or diverted public funds.
Joined in the suit as respondents are the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed.
The suit followed the grim allegations contained in part 2 of the 2018 annual audited report by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation that ₦880,894,733,084.811 was spent by 367 MDAs without any appropriation.
In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1281/2021 filed last week at the Federal High Court in Abuja, SERAP is seeking an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Buhari to promptly investigate the alleged missing funds and to ensure the prosecution of those suspected to be responsible, and the full recovery of any missing, mismanaged or diverted public funds.
The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyer, Kolawole Oluwadare, read in part: “The failure to investigate the allegations of grand corruption contained in part 2 of the 2018 annual audited report constitutes a grave violation of the duty placed on the Nigerian government to take appropriate measures to promote transparency and accountability in the management of public finances.
“Recovering the alleged missing public funds would reduce the pressure on the federal government to borrow more money to fund the budget, enable the authorities to meet the country’s constitutional and international obligations and reduce the growing level of public debts.