The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has given President Muhammadu Buhari 14 days to order an investigation of “missing, mismanaged, diverted or stolen N300billion public funds” as alleged in the 2017 report by the Auditor General of the Federation (AGF).
In a letter dated July 4, 2020 and signed by SERAP Deputy Director Kolawole Oluwadare, the group urged Buhari to direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to urgently carry out the investigation.
SERAP is also seeking an investigation of the extent and patterns of widespread and endemic corruption in the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) indicted in the report.
According to the group, the document revealed mismanagement, diversion and stealing of public funds, as well as spending not accounted for. To SERAP, the revelation suggests violation of public trust and lack of effective and credible internal processes to prevent and combat corruption in the indicted MDAs.
“Investigating and prosecuting the alleged grand corruption documented by the AGF would improve the chances of success of your government’s oft-repeated commitment to fight corruption and end the impunity of perpetrators. It will improve the integrity of MDAs, serve the public interest, as well as improve Nigerians’ access to public services and goods.
Any failure to promptly investigate the alleged financial impropriety and prosecute suspected perpetrators, SERAP said, would amount to a breach of Nigeria’s anti-corruption legislation, including the Public Procurement Act.
“It would also mean that Nigeria is failing to fulfill the obligations under the covenant to use its ‘maximum of available resources’ to progressively realize and achieve basic economic and social rights, including access of Nigerians to public services and goods like quality education, healthcare, clean water, and regular electricity supply, as well as the right to honest public services.”
The letter was copied to Malami; Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); Ibrahim Mustafa Magu, Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); and Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.