SERAP truck with cases against FG
Adetokunbo Mumuni, Executive Director of SERAP, continues to sue FG and the Federation Attorney General, Abubakar-Malami SERAP as a thorn in the flesh
The non-governmental organization SERAP has mastered the art of bringing the federal government to justice on any issue. The Daily Trust is investigating some of these cases and how the government has ignored the regulations.
The Nigerian government has faced several court cases from various individuals and organizations. A significant number of these came from the human rights and transparency organization, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).
The organization has developed a habit of suing the Nigerian government on issues ranging from rights violations to gasoline price increases. They won some. They also lost others.
Following the recent shelling of Lecca, SERAP has traditionally announced plans to bring President Muhammad Bukhari to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the October 20 incident.
They also sued for police brutality in the states of Abuja, Lagos, Edo, Oyo, Osun, Plateau and Kano, killing about 60 people.
Prior to that, when the federal government announced plans to raise electricity tariffs and gasoline pumps in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, SERAP also filed a lawsuit in the Federal Court of Abuja. arguing that this step is contrary to the public interest, the common good and is a fundamental violation of the constitutional oath.
Among other remarks, SERAP calls for a statement that President Bukhari’s use of the power “to raise the price of gasoline in accordance with section 6 of the 1969 Petroleum Act and the increase in electricity tariffs is arbitrary, unfair, unfair and unjust.” violation of the President’s oath of office contained in the Seventh Program of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended). “
SERAP also requested an injunction from the Lagos Federal High Court to prohibit police from harassing #EndSARS protesters and any other peaceful protests such as: “their rights to life, dignity, personal freedom, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. “
The federal government, the Daily Trust notes, has failed to comply with some of the previous court decisions in favor of SERAP to publish information on returned production and accountability for public funds.
Some of them are SERAP v. Minister of Information (seed number: FHC / L / CS / 964/2016), SERAP v. General Accountant of the Federation and General Prosecutor of the Federation (reference number: FHC / IKJ / CS / 248/2011) and SERAP v. President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Attorney General of the Federation (FHC / L / CS / 1821/2017) and SERAP v. Attorney General of the Federation (case number: FHC / L / CS / 1497/2017).
Others – SERAP v. Minister of Energy (case no. FHC / L / CS / 1821/2017) and SERAP v. Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) (reference number: ECW / CCJ / APP / 2008) to the ECOWAS Community Court.
In the case against the Minister of Information, the court ruled that the remedy requested by SERAP is “a statement that under section 4 (a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, defendants / defendants have a legally binding obligation. provide the Claimant / Applicant with up-to-date information regarding the following: a. information on the names of high-ranking civil servants from whom funds have been collected since May 2015; and “the circumstances under which the funds were recovered”.
On February 26, 2016, in issuing a judgment in the SERAP case against the Chief Accountant of the Federation and the General Prosecutor of the Federation, Judge M.B. Idris ruled that “it is hereby stated that the refusal and / or refusal of the defendants / or collectively to disclose detailed information on the expenditure of the stolen public funds obtained as a result of the return of civil law in 1999, and the wide publication of such information, including on a special web website, violates the fundamental principles of transparency and accountability and violates Articles 9, 21 and 22 of the Charter Law. Human and Peoples’ Rights in Africa (Ratification and Application).
“We hereby declare that pursuant to the provisions of Section 4 (a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, the First Respondent has a legal obligation to provide the Claimant with up-to-date information on the costs of the stolen funds returned, including: (i) details of the total amount of stolen funds returned government assets that have so far been recovered from Nigeria; (ii) the amount that was spent on the stolen government assets recovered and the items of such expenses; (iii) details of the projects on which the recovered and stolen government assets were spent.
“An order is issued directing or obliging the defendants to provide the plaintiff with up-to-date information on stolen funds recovered since the return of the civilian government in 1999, including (i) details of the total amount of stolen government property recovered so far that has been received from Nigeria, (ii ) the amount that was spent on the returned stolen state property and the items of these expenses.
“Details of the projects on which the stolen public goods returned were spent.”
In adjudicating the case between SERAP and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Attorney General of the Federation on 28 May 2018, Judge M.B. Idris ordered Mandamus to direct and / or force the President to do the following:
“Direction of the publication of the report of the security and anti-corruption agencies on the anticipated budget buffering for 2016;
“Urgently stop the alleged ongoing attempt by some senior National Assembly officials to steal $ 40 billion from the $ 100 billion allocated by your government as ‘zone intervention’ to the 2017 budget;
“Closely track and control N131 billion (accrued from the oil benchmark increase) spending set aside for additional spending on non-collegial projects to eliminate the possibility of corruption.
However, the court noted that the president’s second exemption from ordering the security and anti-corruption services to send him reports on their investigation into allegations of filling and theft of approximately 481 billion N481 from the 2016 budget. Some high-ranking officials of the National Assembly, as well as to instruct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN) and / or the relevant anti-corruption authorities to initiate prosecution of the officials at fault.
Reviewing a lawsuit between SERAP and AGF on November 11, 2019, Judge Oluremi Oguntoinbo ordered the Federation Attorney General and the Minister of Justice to initiate appropriate lawsuits to challenge the legality of state laws allowing former governors who are now senators and ministers to enjoy the governors’ remuneration by receiving at the same time, normal salaries and benefits in their new political positions, as well as identify those involved in this and seek a full return of public funds from former governors.
In a July 4, 2019 ruling, Judge Chuka Austin Obiozor upheld SERAP’s claim by asking the federal government and the Department of Energy to provide him with documents and information on the specific names and details of contractors and companies that have been involved in the energy sector in successive governments since 1999. compliance with the Freedom of Information Act.
In addition, in SERAP v. The Federal Republic of Nigeria and the General Commission on Basic Education (UBEC) ruled in ECOWAS on November 11, 2009 that all Nigerians have the right to education as a legal and human right; the right to education can be claimed in court, and the federal government’s objection that education is simply public policy and not a citizen’s right is dismissed.
But after these decisions were passed in his favor, SERAP deputy director Kolavole Oludare said that the federal government had not yet implemented any of them.
Public relations analyst Sonala Olumhense said that orders received by Nigerian vessels from SERAP between 2016 and 2017 regarding production mined since 1999 are “ignored to this day.”
“But in July 2017, Malami promised that his government would indeed comply with these famous court orders, telling State Chamber reporters that the government had agreed with the courts.
“Once again, in October of the same year, at a meeting with SERAP in Abuja, Malami reiterated his promise, stating that Bukhari had instructed all relevant agencies to collect documents in the names of all the ‘marauders’ in order to carry out court orders.
“But it was a ruse, and a few weeks ago, when the world was waiting for the last report on Abach to return, the government acknowledged. In response to a Freedom of Information request, Malami told SERAP that the government “has no data on the exact amount of public funds stolen by former military chief of state Sani Abacha and no data on expenditures of about $ 5 billion.” production was restored in the period from 1999 to 2015 ”.
Dr. Umar Gwandu, Assistant to Media Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN), promised to respond to a request from this newspaper about the action taken by the federal government on orders. He still hasn’t done it a few weeks later.
Source: – Daily Trust