SERAP Takes Legal Action Against Tinubu for Neglecting $15bn, N200bn Oil Revenue Investigation in NEITI Report

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has initiated legal proceedings against President Bola Tinubu for his alleged negligence in investigating the concerning claims that over $15 billion in oil revenues and the N200 billion allocated for refinery repairs in Nigeria have gone missing and remain unaccounted for between 2020 and 2021.

These allegations were made in the 2021 report by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

In the lawsuit filed as suit number FHC/L/CS/2334/2023 at the Federal High Court in Lagos last Friday, SERAP is seeking two major orders. Firstly, they demand “an order of mandamus to instruct and compel President Tinubu to initiate an inquiry into the claims that $15 billion of oil revenue and the N200 billion allocated for the maintenance of Nigerian refineries are unaccounted for and missing.” Secondly, they seek “an order of mandamus to require President Tinubu to direct relevant anti-corruption agencies to investigate allegations of corruption involving the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NPDC), and State Owned Enterprises (SOE).”

Furthermore, SERAP is also pursuing an order to compel President Tinubu to apply any recovered proceeds of corruption to enhance the well-being of Nigerians.

In their legal action, SERAP argues that there is a significant public interest in ensuring justice and accountability for these serious allegations, and granting the requested relief would help end the impunity of wrongdoers and ensure justice for corruption victims. They emphasize that the corruption allegations highlighted by NEITI severely undermine the country’s economic development, trapping the majority of Nigerians in poverty and depriving them of opportunities.

SERAP also points out that unless the President is compelled to thoroughly investigate these grave revelations, the alleged wrongdoers will continue to escape consequences for their actions and enjoy the proceeds of their crimes. Over the years, the numerous corruption and mismanagement allegations in the use of oil revenues, coupled with the impunity of those responsible, have eroded public trust and confidence in governments at all levels.

In conclusion, SERAP contends that the findings by NEITI indicate a serious violation of the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended), national anti-corruption laws, and the country’s commitments under the UN Convention against Corruption.

The suit has been filed on behalf of SERAP by its legal team, including Kolawole Oluwadare, Andrew Nwankwo, and Ms. Valentina Adegoke. As of now, no date has been scheduled for the hearing of this case.

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