Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sued President Muhammadu Buhari over the government’s “failure” to probe security votes’ “mismanagement” by serving and former governors.
The suit followed Buhari’s 2022 New Year Message wherein he raised concerns about the “persistent insecurity in certain parts of the country”.
SERAP also mentioned Buhari’s promise in 2015 inaugural speech to “check gross corruption and ensure that there is accountability at all levels of government in the country.”
In a suit, FHC/L/CS/189/2022, filed at the Federal High Court in Lagos, SERAP is seeking an order to compel Buhari to direct Abubakar Malami (SAN), the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to initiate a probe.
The suit argued that the investigation would ensure accountability and improve the ability of the government to deliver on the promises to ensure Nigerians’ safety.
SERAP insisted that the government had the primary and constitutional responsibility to protect the lives and property of the citizens.
The rights group said pervasive tendency by public officers to use security votes as their personal entitlement was antithetical to the constitution and international standards.
The suit filed by lawyers, Kolawole Oluwadare and Joke Fekumo listed Malami as a Respondent.
SERAP made reference to a Transparency International (TI) report which found that a chunk of security votes was spent on political activities, mismanaged or stolen.
It is estimated that security votes add up to over N241.2billion every year. On top of appropriated security votes, state governments also receive millions of dollars yearly as international security assistance.
While sitting state governors may enjoy immunity from arrest and prosecution, they do not enjoy immunity from investigation,” it said.