THE Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has approached the Federal High Court, Abuja seeking it to compel President Muhammadu Buhari to disclose spending details of the overdrafts and loans obtained since May 29, 2015, including projects which the overdrafts were spent, and repayments of all overdrafts to date.
The suit which is in accordance with SERAP’s Freedom of Information, FoI, request to President Buhari, stating that: “Disclosing details of overdrafts and repayments would enable Nigerians to hold the government to account for its fiscal management and ensure that public funds are not mismanaged or diverted.”
In the suit which was filed last week, on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers, Kolawole Oluwadare and Ms Adelanke Aremo, the organization also seeking: “An order directing and compelling President Buhari to disclose details of overdrafts taken from the CBN by successive governments between 1999 and 2015.”
In the suit, SERAP said: “Secrecy and the lack of public scrutiny of the details of CBN overdrafts and repayments are antithetical to the public interest, the common good, the country’s international legal obligations, and a fundamental breach of constitutional oath of office.”
The organisation, in its argument, said: “Ensuring transparency and accountability in the spending of the overdrafts and loans would promote prudence in debt management, reduce any risks of corruption and mismanagement, and help the government to avoid the pitfalls of excessive debt.
“By the combined reading of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the Freedom of Information Act, the UN Convention against Corruption, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, there are transparency obligations imposed on the government to disclose information to the public concerning details of CBN overdrafts, loans and repayments to date.”