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SERAP sue’s Buhari over N1.48trillion for refinery maintenance

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The SERAP (Socio Economic accountability project have reportedly filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari over his over failure of probation allegation that N1.48trillion which was spending on maintaining four refinaries in the country.

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The maintenance which happened from 2015 to 2020 was said to be stolen and mismanaged or perhaps diverted to a privately owned pocket.

The government reportedly spent N10.23 billion in June 2020 on three refineries that processed zero crude. Also in 2021, the government approved $1.5 billion (about N600 billion) to repair the Port Harcourt refinery. Despite the huge spending, the refineries are still not working while fuel scarcity persists.

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In the suit number FHC/L/CS/806/2022 filed last week at the Federal High Court, Lagos, SERAP is seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Buhari to investigate the spending on Nigeria’s refineries, and alleged mismanagement of public funds budgeted for maintaining the refineries since 1999.”

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SERAP is also seeking “an order of mandamus to compel President Buhari to ensure the prosecution of anyone suspected to be responsible for the importation and distribution of dirty fuel into Nigeria and to identify and ensure access to justice and effective remedies to affected victims.

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SERAP is arguing that “It is in the public interest to ensure justice and accountability for alleged corruption and mismanagement in the oil sector, which has resulted in the importation and distribution of dirty fuel and protracted fuel scarcity in the country.”

According to SERAP, “Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended], and international standards impose clear obligations on the Buhari administration to take effective accountability measures to weed out, expose, and punish allegations of corruption in the oil sector, and to ensure effective remedies for victims.”

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SERAP is also arguing that “Ensuring justice and accountability in the spending of public funds on refineries would improve the availability of petrol and the enjoyment by Nigerians of their right to natural wealth and resources.”

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“Impunity for alleged corruption in the oil sector has contributed to the importation and distribution of bad fuel, violating the human rights of many users, including to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

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“The Buhari administration has legal obligations under Section 15(5) of the Nigerian Constitution to abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power, and article 26 of the UN Convention against Corruption to ensure effective prosecution of allegations of corruption.

“Alleged corruption and mismanagement in the oil sector and the importation and distribution of dirty fuel have continued to deprive Nigerians of economic opportunities, subjecting them to cruel and degrading treatment.”

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The commission is seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Buhari to instruct appropriate anti-corruption agencies to jointly track and monitor the spending of public funds to rehabilitate, operate, and maintain Nigeria’s refineries.”

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