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SERAP sues Wike, governors over fraud

SERAP logo and Wike | Fi

SERAP to Wike: Account for N5.9tr, $4.6b loans, publish details  

By Stan Ike,

Abuja

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), a civil rights group, has filed a lawsuit against the 36 governor of the federation and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mr Nyesom Wike, for failure to account for N5.9 trillion, $4.6 billion loans, and non-publication of details of the transaction.

This followed the disclosure last month by Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State that the immediate past administration of Nasir el-Rufai left $587 million, N85 billion debt and 115 contractual liabilities, making it impossible for the state to pay salaries.

In the suit numbered FHC/ABJ/CS/592/2024 filed last Friday at the Federal High Court, Abuja, SERAP is asking the court to “direct and compel the governors and Mr Wike to account for N5.9 trillion and $4.6 billion loans obtained by their states and the FCT and to publish copies of the loan agreements, location of projects executed with the loans.

Also read: SERAP drags Buhari’s govt to court over double pay  

SERAP is also asking the court to “direct and compel the governors and Mr Wike to invite the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to investigate the spending of all the loans obtained to date by their states and the FCT”.

In the suit, SERAP argued: “It is in the public interest to grant the reliefs sought. Nigerians have the right to see and scrutinise the loan agreements and know the details of how the domestic and external loans obtained by the governors and FCT minister are spent.”

According to SERAP, “Opacity in the spending of the loans obtained by the governors and Mr Wike would continue to have negative impacts on the fundamental interests of the citizens.”

SERAP said, “Many states and the FCT are reportedly spending public funds, which may include the loans obtained by them to fund unnecessary travels, buy exotic and bulletproof cars and generally fund the lavish lifestyles of politicians.”

It lamented that many states and the FCT reportedly owe civil servants’ salaries and pensions.

“Several states are borrowing to pay salaries. Millions of Nigerians resident in the states and FCT continue to be denied access to basic public goods and services such as quality education and healthcare,” it said.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

valoa2000@yahoo.com

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