SERAP writes Buhari, seeks probe of ‘missing N106bn in 149 MDAs in 2018’

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP), has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “direct the Attorney-General of the Federation, (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, (SAN), and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to investigate allegations that N106bn of public funds are missing from 149 ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), as documented in the 2018 annual audited report by the Auditor-General of the Federation”.

In the letter dated April 17, 2021, and signed by SERAP Deputy Director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said, “The reported missing public funds reflect the failure of the indicted MDAs to ensure strict compliance with transparency and accountability rules and regulations, and the failure of leadership of the MDAs to foster institutions that uphold the rule of law and human rights.

According to SERAP, “Recovering the alleged missing public funds would reduce the pressure on the Federal Government to borrow more money to fund the budget, enable the authorities to meet the country’s human rights obligation to progressively realize Nigerians’ rights to quality health care and education, as well as reduce the growing level of public debts”.

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 fully recovered.”

It also urged him “to direct the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, to create a system of public announcements to name and shame the indicted 149 MDAs, including those that reportedly failed to remit over N55bn of their revenue; awarded contracts of over N18bn for services not rendered, and spent over N23bn without any supporting documents”.

The letter was copied to AGF Malami; Chairman Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC),  Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye; Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, and chairmen of the Public Accounts Committees of the National Assembly, Mrs. Ahmed.

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