Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sued the Minister of Power, Works and Housing identified as Mr Babatunde Fashola, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), due to the failure of disclosing specific names and details of contractors and organizations that allegedly collected money for electricity projects but failed to execute any projects, starting from the return of democracy in 1999 till the year 2018.
The suit FHC/L/CS/105/19 was filed last week at a Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, SERAP is looking for an order for leave to apply for judicial review and an order of mandamus directing and/or asking Mr Fashola to give out the specific details on the names and whereabouts of the contractors who collected public funds meant for electricity projects but ran away with the money without executing any projects.
The suit comes after SERAP’s Freedom of Information request dated 4 January 2019 giving Mr Fashola 14 days to list out the names of all contractors and companies that have been engaged in the power sector since the return of democracy in 1999 to date.
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SERAP said in a statement:
“Publishing the names will make it hard for contractors and companies to get away with complicity in grand corruption. The citizens have the right to see that the Freedom of Information Act is enforced where there is an infraction of the right to information or a threat of its being violated, in matters of public interests.”
Adelanke Aremo statement read:
“By compelling Mr Fashola to name the contractors and their registration details, if any, Nigerians will be better able to hold them to account for allegedly absconding with public funds meant for electricity projects, thereby throwing the country into perpetual darkness and socio-economic stagnation as well as denying people their human rights.”
“To date no contractors or companies who allegedly collected money for electricity projects not executed or poorly executed have been investigated for corruption let alone prosecuted and fined. Senior public officials who apparently served as intermediaries for these contractors and companies continue to escape justice.”
No date has, however, been fixed for the hearing of the suit against Mr Babatunde Fashola.