Nigerian activists ask court to order President to publish all details of billions of dollars of government loans since 2015

967FollowersFollow

Although we are headquartered in Washington D.C. USA, our reporters and editors are working around the globe to cover what you care about. We invite you to donate to our fundraiser to help us keep our quality news free and available to all.  

Nigeria’s Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Federal High Court, Abuja to order President Muhammadu Buhari to “publish details of loans that have been obtained by the government since May 29, 2015, including the interest rate, the total amount of debts that have so far been incurred by this government, as well as details of the projects on which the loans have been spent.”

Joined as Respondents in the suit are Mr Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice; Ms Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning; and Ms Patience Oniha Director-General of the Debt Management Office.

SERAP is seeking: “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Buhari to tell Nigerians the names of countries and bodies that have given the loans, specific repayment conditions, and whether any public officers solicited and/or received bribes in the negotiations for any of the loans, and if there is plan to audit the spending of the loans, to resolve any allegations of mismanagement and corruption.”

[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]

SERAP is also asking the court to: “direct and compel President Buhari to tell Nigerians if he would instruct the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to monitor the spending of all loans obtained since May 2015.”

SERAP is arguing that: “Opacity in the spending of loans would continue to have negative impacts on the fundamental interests of citizens. Transparency would ensure that the loans are not diverted to private pockets, increase public trust that these loans would be used to benefit Nigerians, provide good value for money, and reassure Nigeria’s creditors.”

According to SERAP, “This suit is permitted under the Freedom of Information Act, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party.”

SERAP is also arguing that: “While access to loans can provide indispensable resources, the mismanagement and squandering of any such resources would be counter-productive. Nigerians should no longer be made to repay debts incurred in their name but which have not benefited them in any manner, shape or form.”

The suit followed SERAP’s Freedom of Information (FoI) request dated 30 May, 2020 to President Buhari, expressing “concerns that while governments since 1999 have borrowed money in the name of Nigeria and its citizens, much of the funds have reportedly been mismanaged, stolen or squandered, leaving the citizens with the burden of having to repay these loans.”

The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Adelanke Aremo, read in part: “the massive and growing national debts have continued to have negative impacts on socio-economic development and on Nigerians’ access to public goods and services, including quality education, adequate healthcare, clean water, and regular electricity supply.”

“SERAP is praying the court to hold that the interest of the public in publishing the information sought is far greater than any other interest President Buhari may be trying to preserve.”

“Transparency and accountability in the spending details of all the loans that have so far been obtained by the government, and those obtained by previous administrations would mean that the loans can help Nigeria to overcome its acute development challenges, and reduce the possibility of mismanagement and corruption.”

“SERAP is seeking an order to direct and compel President Buhari to disclose information on details of spending of loans obtained by successive governments since the return of democracy in 1999, list of countries and bodies that have given the loans, and specific conditions of repayment of the loans.”

“Obedience to the rule of law by all citizens but more particularly those who publicly took oath of office to protect and preserve the constitution is a desideratum to good governance and respect for the rule of law.”

“The Nigeria Government has signed on to the Open Government Partnership [OGP], and the country is a state party to the UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption.”

It would be recalled that Buhari recently sought the National Assembly’s approval for a fresh loan of $5.513bn, reportedly to fund the 2020 budget deficit, critical projects, and support some states. The National Assembly also recently approved a N850 billion loan. Another loan of $22.79bn, had previously been approved by the National Assembly.

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

[/read_more]

Today News Africa
Today News Africahttps://todaynewsafrica.com
TODAY NEWS AFRICA is registered and headquartered in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America. Our publication is widely read, respected and influential. By providing daily answers to questions our readers have about the people, the businesses and the continent of Africa, we are reaching a diverse and wide audience from around the world. Our readers, many of them world leaders, trust us because we are independent and truthful. Our advertisers understand the difference between news, views and ads. Contact us: contactus@todaynewsafrica.com

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Trending Now

Amnesty International outraged over Ethiopia’s decision to ban protests against ethnically motivated killings

Ethiopian authorities have banned peaceful protests against ethnically motivated killings which were due to take place on October 28, in direct...

Joe Biden wins last presidential debate against Donald Trump

Joe Biden was surprisingly aggressive, it was perhaps the best debate he has had in 2020.Republicans...

Damning report finds detainees in Iran were sexually abused and given electric shocks in gruesome post-protest crackdown

Iran’s police, intelligence and security forces, and prison officials have committed, with the complicity of judges and prosecutors, a catalogue of...

Nigerians in USA to hold ‘mother of all protests’ against police brutality and bad governance in their home country

Nigerians in the United States would hold the 'mother of all protests' on Saturday against police brutality and bad governance in...

Nearly 60 million Americans have already voted representing 43% of total votes counted in 2016

At least 59.3 million Americans have already voted, according to data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project, putting the 2020 elections on track to...

What the Joseph Robinette Biden presidency would mean for Africa – Perspectives by Simon Ateba

Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., the 47th vice president of the United States in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2017, is...

Finally, Nigerian President confirms killing of peaceful protesters

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday confirmed the killing of peaceful protesters in the country last week by security forces.

Amnesty International accuses Nigerian authorities of attempting to cover up Lekki Toll Gate massacre

Amnesty International on Wednesday accused Nigerian authorities of attempting to cover up Lekki Toll Gate massacre.The organization...

South Africa deputy president rejects corruption allegations against him as investigators arrest 11 people for fraud

The South African Deputy President David Mabuza has rejected corruption allegations against him, following the arrests of 11 people who worked...

More than 90% of all votes counted in Texas in 2016 already cast, 72% in Florida, 76% in Georgia, 72% in North Carolina and 32% in Pennsylvania

At least 73.3 million Americans have already voted, according to data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project, putting the 2020 elections on track to...

Buhari urges Nigerians to unite amid mounting tensions triggered by police brutality

President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday in Abuja appealed to Nigerians to desist from actions and comments that could jeopardise the unity and...

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in self quarantine after COVID-19 exposure

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has begun a period of self-quarantine after COVID-19 exposure, the presidency said in a statement on...

Nearly 70 million Americans have already voted, representing more than 50 percent of all votes counted in 2016

Nearly 70 million Americans have already voted, according to data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project, putting the 2020 elections on track to shatter...

Africa records 32,000 COVID-19 cases and 800 deaths in one week with South Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia reporting highest numbers

Africa has recorded 32,000 new cases of COVId-19 and 800 new deaths over the past one week, according to new data...

Amnesty International accuses Nigerian authorities of attempting to cover up Lekki Toll Gate massacre

Amnesty International on Wednesday accused Nigerian authorities of attempting to cover up Lekki Toll Gate massacre.The organization released a new timeline investigating the atrocities recorded in the commercial city of Nigeria a week ago.The timeline collates photographs and video footage to confirm that Nigerian Army vehicles left Bonny Camp, a military base approximately a...

[/read_more]

[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]

error: Alert: Content is protected !!
56 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share