By Ese Awhotu Abuja
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP) has said the ex-Presidents, Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan should be referred to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC for squandering power project funds.
This is even as Obasanjo has dismissed the allegations against him by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying he had been cleared by the National Assembly.
SERAP, in a statement by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni , urged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently refer the allegations to the EFCC and ICPC.
SERAP calls on President Buhari to “Urgently refer the allegations of mismanagement of $16 billion power projects between 1999 and 2007 to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt
Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for further investigation; and if there is relevant and sufficient admissible evidence, for anyone suspected to be involved to face prosecution.
“Refer to the EFCC and ICPC not just allegations regarding the $16 billion power projects but also the alleged squandering of over N11 trillion meant to provide regular electricity supply covering the governments of former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan.”
“We welcome the focus by President Buhari on the massive allegations of corruption and mismanagement in the power sector and urge him to expand his searchlight beyond the Obasanjo government by ensuring accountability and full recovery of the over N11 trillion squandered by the three administrations. It is only by pursuing all the allegations and taking the evidence before the court that the truth will be revealed and justice best served.
“This is the only way to conclusively address the systemic corruption in the power sector and an entrenched culture of impunity of perpetrators,” the statement reads.
Recall that President Buhari had on Tuesday accused Obasanjo having questions to answer on the spending of $16bn power project funds during his tenure as President of Nigeria without corresponding power supply to Nigerians.
SERAP noted that lack of access to uninterrupted energy/electricity services has forced many citizens to use and collect frequently contaminated surface water for drinking and household uses; and denied the citizens the ability and services for boiling, purifying, disinfecting, and storing water, as well as for irrigation to increase the productivity of lands, thereby decreasing the availability of food supplies and undermining employment opportunities.
SERAP notes that “the failure by successive governments to tell Nigerians the truth about allegations of corruption in the spending of not just the $16 billion but also the over N11 trillion spent by three governments on electricity supply amounts to a failure to ensure that energy services/electricity services are progressively made available, on the basis of equality and non-discrimination, to the whole population, including those most disadvantaged, such as the fringe dwellers and the rural poor.
However, in a swift reaction yesterday, Obasanjo said President Buhari’s allegation was rooted in ignorance.
The former President said he had been exonerated on the issue of power projects funds by the National Assembly.
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