The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP) has sent an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, requesting him to use his “leadership position to direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN) and/or appropriate anti-corruption agencies to, without delay, investigate widespread allegations of mismanagement and corruption in the spending of security votes by several state governors since 1999.
“If there is relevant and sufficient admissible evidence, for former governors to face prosecution and serving governors to be prosecuted at the expiration of their tenure as governors,” said SERAP.
The organisation also urged Buhari to “instruct the attorney general and/or appropriate anti-corruption agencies to publish the report of any such investigation including the names of governors that may have benefited from the public funds, and to ensure the recovery of proceeds of corruption. We request that you take this step within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter, failing which SERAP will institute legal proceedings to compel your government to act in the public interest.”
In a July 6 letter, signed by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale, the organisation aded that “pursuing this matter will ensure that public funds are used properly, and mean state governors would be less likely to misuse or steal security votes, and ultimately improve the ability of state governments to promote, enhance and ensure the security and safety of all Nigerians in their states.”
“The lack of transparency and accountability in the spending of security votes is the real cause of many of the security challenges confronting Nigeria. State governments across the country are failing to ensure the safety and security of Nigerians and residents despite huge yearly allocations of security votes to governors. These funds are purportedly appropriated for State security.
“However, despite these huge expenditures on security, many state governors are failing to prevent kidnappings, cultism, assassinations and other unlawful killings, maiming of residents and destruction of property.
“SERAP is concerned about the growing allegations of mismanagement, waste, and corrupt practices in the spending of security votes by several state governors. Rather than using security votes to promote, enhance and ensure peace and security in their states, many governors have allegedly used and/or still using it as conduit to divert public funds for private gain.”