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SERAP, others sue Senate over plan to spend N5.5b on cars

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged Senate President Ahmad Lawan and House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila to probe the missing N4.4 billion of public money budgeted for the National Assembly.

It urged the Senate President and the Speaker to refer to appropriate anti-corruption agencies for investigation the report that the N4.4 billion was misappropriated, diverted or stolen, as documented in three audited reports by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation.

The organisation said it would take legal action if nothing is done on the matter within 14 days.

In an open letter, dated January 30, 2021, by SERAP Deputy Director Kolawole Oluwadare, and copied to Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN); Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye (SAN) and Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Mohammed Abba, SERAP said: “By exercising strong and effective leadership in this matter, the National Assembly can show Nigerians that the legislative body is a proper and accountable watchdog that represents and protects the public interest, and is able to hold itself and the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to account in the management of public resources.”

But Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru, urged the organisation to approach appropriate committees of both chambers of the National Assembly for replies to its letter.

He said: “This clarification is important as the wordings of the petition are capable of misleading the general public that SERAP is talking about the present National Assembly.

“It is not about any (act of) malfeasance by the current Assembly and its leadership as it is presently constituted. Far from it.”

 

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