SERAP drags Lawan, Gbajabiamila to court over silence on corruption probes

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit against the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila over their alleged failure to publish details of completed public hearings and corruption probes by the National Assembly since 1999, details of any indictments and names of suspects.

According to a Sunday statement by the civil society organisation, the suit was instituted at the Federal High Court, Abuja and is seeking an order to direct and compel the heads of the National Assembly to publish the details.

SERAP said that the suit followed recent public hearings by the National Assembly on corruption allegations in ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), including the Niger Delta Development Commisson (NDDC) and Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).

SERAP lamented that reports of several public hearings and corruption probes have remained secret and the allegations necessary the hearings and probes unresolved.

“In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1065/2020 filed last week, SERAP is also seeking: an order of mandamus to direct and compel Lawan and Gbajabiamila to send all reports of completed public hearings and corruption probes to appropriate anti-corruption agencies for prosecution.

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“SERAP is asking the court for an order of mandamus to direct and compel Lawan and Gbajabiamila to sponsor a resolution to stop lawmakers from directly getting involved in the execution of projects by MDAs and to ensure the proper and effective exercise of their oversight functions.

“SERAP is arguing that: Granting the reliefs sought would bolster public trust & confidence in the lawmakers’ oversight functions & dispel the perception that many of the hearings & probes are politically motivated & serve personal interest, rather than the public interests,” the statement further read.

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