Abiodun OBA

 

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has given President Muhammadu Buhari  seven days to cause the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to probe how over N11 trillion meant to provide regular electricity has been squandered by since 1999.

In a letter sent to the President,  SERAP said any failure to trigger the probe the group shall consider appropriate legal actions to compel the government to do so in the public interest.

SERAP said: “Anyone suspected to be responsible should face prosecution as appropriate, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, and any missing public funds should be traced and fully recovered.”

SERAP also urged Buhari to “refer to the International Criminal Court all unimplemented reports of corruption in the electricity sector gathering dust on the shelves, and to arrest and surrender those named in the reports to the court for prosecution.”

SERAP’s letter followed the collapse of the national grid, which has plunged the country into total darkness.

Generation capacity has dropped to 2,000 megawatts with about 14 power plants shutting down.

In the letter dated 19 March, 2022 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “Nigerians have for far too long been denied justice and the opportunity to get to the bottom of why they continue to pay the price for corruption in the electricity sector–staying in darkness, but still made to pay crazy electricity bills.”

“The staggering amounts of public funds alleged to have been stolen over the years in the electricity sector have had catastrophic effects on the lives of millions of Nigerians, akin to crimes against humanity against the Nigerian people.”

“Investigating the allegations of missing N11 trillion electricity funds, prosecuting suspected perpetrators and recovering any missing public funds would end a culture of impunity. It would also address persistent collapse of the electricity grid, and improve access to and affordability of electricity in the country.”

SERAP reminded the President of his inaugural speech on May 29, 2015 when he stated that, ‘it is a national shame that an economy of 180 million generates only 4,000MW, and distributes even less. We will not allow this to go on.’

“The national grid collapse suggests that this promise remains unfulfilled,” SERAP said.

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