Fuel scarcity: Investigate refinery spending or face legal action, SERAP tells Buhari

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) to direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, and anti-corruption agencies to investigate spending on the country’s four refineries.

The organiastion also requested that the president launch an investigation into the alleged corruption and mismanagement of public funds budgeted for the rehabilitation, operation, and maintenance of the refineries since 1999.

In the event that this is not done, SERAP has threatened to sue the president, according to a statement issued on Sunday.

The statement cited SERAP’s deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, as saying this in a letter to Buhari and Malami dated March 5, 2022.

The letter, read in part, “Investigating and prosecuting allegations of corruption and mismanagement in the spending on the refineries would be entirely consistent with constitutional guarantees and international standards. It may also galvanize public support for your government’s anti-corruption efforts.

“Alleged corruption and mismanagement in the oil sector, the importation and distribution of dirty fuel, and protracted fuel scarcity amount to a fundamental breach of constitutional and international human rights obligations, depriving Nigerians of economic opportunities and subjecting them to cruel and degrading treatment.

“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall consider appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.

“SERAP also urges you to instruct the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to jointly track and monitor the spending of public funds to rehabilitate, operate, and maintain the country’s refineries.

“SERAP is concerned that fuel scarcity in several parts of the country has subjected many Nigerians to harsh economic and social conditions, making them incapable of developing their abilities and realising their potential.”

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