‘Compel Tinubu To Probe Missing $15bn, N200bn Oil Revenues’

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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to compel President Bola Tinubu to probe the allegations that $15 billion of oil revenue, and N200 billion budgeted to repair and maintain the refineries in Nigeria are missing and unaccounted for.
SERAP is specifically seeking an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Tinubu to probe the missing funds which came to light in the 2021 report by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
The civil society organisation, in the suit number FHC/L/CS/2334/2023, is also seeking an order of mandamus to compel President Tinubu to direct appropriate anti-corruption agencies to probe allegations of corruption involving the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NPDC) and State Owned Enterprises (SOE).
The applicant is also asking the court, in the suit which is yet to be assigned to a judge, for an order of mandamus to compel the President to use any recovered proceeds of corruption to enhance the well-being of Nigerians.
In an affidavit attached to the suit, SERAP averred that the Tinubu government has a constitutional duty to ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of the country’s oil wealth.
It also stated that many years of allegations of corruption and mismanagement in the spending of oil revenues and impunity of perpetrators have undermined public trust and confidence in governments at all levels.
The applicant further argued that the findings by NEITI suggest a grave violation of the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended], national anticorruption laws, and the country’s obligations under the UN Convention against Corruption.
SERAP maintained that it filed the suit to obtain an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Tinubu to put in place mechanisms for accountability and transparency in the oil sector.
It contended that section 13 of the 1999 Constitution imposes clear responsibility on the government to conform to, observe and apply the provisions of Chapter 2 of the constitution.
The applicant also stated that Section 15(5) of the 1999 Constitution imposes the responsibility on the government to ‘abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power’ in the country.
SERAP argued that “under Section 16(1) of the Constitution, the government has a responsibility to ‘secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every citizen on the basis of social justice and equality of status and opportunity.
“Section 16(2) further provides that, ‘the material resources of the nation are harnessed and distributed as best as possible to serve the common good.
“Similarly, articles 5 and 9 of the UN Convention against Corruption also impose legal obligations on the government to ensure proper management of public affairs and public funds, and to promote transparent administration of public affairs.
“The UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption obligate the government to effectively prevent and investigate the plundering of the country’s wealth and natural resources and hold public officials and non-state actors to account for any violations,” it said.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.


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