Financial Accountability: Group Sues Governors, Others Over Asset Declaration, Bailout Funds

A group, Policing Nigeria Awareness Initiative (PNAI) has sued incumbent and former governors, before the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking the release of information on the management of public funds.

The group joined as defendants 19 federal institutions, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and the Trade Union Congres (TUC) in the country in the suit filed by nine of its members, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/607/2015, a copy of which was obtained by the Street Journal.

According to the plaintiffs, they initiated the suit following the difficulty of the federal and inability of some state governments to pay workers’ salaries, and the recent bailout released to state governors.

They, therefore, sought 19 orders of mandamus, directing Federal Government agencies to produce records showing allocations from Federation Account to state governors between May 29, 2007 and May 29, 2015.

The group also seeks an order of mandamus compelling the agencies to furnish the court with information on the local and foreign debts of the 36 state governments and FCT within the said period.

It also prays the court to compel all concerned government institutions to produce records of the capital expenditures of the 36 state governors and the FCT within the period.

The plaintiffs further urge the court to compel the Code of Conduct Bureau to produce the asset declaration forms submitted by incumbent and the immediate past governors.

They also urge the court to compel the Code of Conduct Bureau to produce the asset declaration forms submitted by along state commissioners and the governors’ special advisers and other aides.

The plaintiffs claimed in the suit filed by their counsel, Mr Sunday Adikwu, that they instituted the suit on behalf of the group, their respective geopolitical zones and Nigerians home and abroad.

They also submitted that the suit was brought pursuant to the provisions of Section 1(2) and (3) of the Freedom of Information Act.

The Federal Government agencies which are joined as defendants include, the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, Code of Conduct Bureau, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission and the Debt Management Office.

Also joined as defendants are: Bureau for Public Procurement, Central Bank of Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Finance, Accountant-General of the Federation, Securities and Exchange Commission, Bureau for Public Enterprises.

Others are the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Minister of Petroleum Resources, NNPC Group Managing Director, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Federal Ministry of Education and the Director-General of the Federal Inland Revenue Services.

The plaintiffs also added the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) as defendants.

The suit has yet to be assigned to a judge for determination.

Author: newsadmin2

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