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Buhari should publish loans obtained since 2015, SERAP urges High Court


The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), a non-profit organisation, has asked the Federal High Court, Abuja to compel President Muhammadu Buhari to publish all details of loans that have been obtained by the Federal Government since May 29, 2015.

In a statement released on Sunday titled, “SERAP asks court to order Buhari to publish details of govt loans since 2015 ” which was signed by the SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation demanded that the interest rate and the total amount of debts incurred so far by the President Buhari regime be made public, as well as details of the projects on which these loans have been spent.

Some of the loans obtained by the Federal Government to carry out projects in the country have been subjects of controversy lately and last week, the House of Representatives summoned the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, to explain details of some Chinese loans which were channelled towards the construction of rail projects across the country.

SERAP filed in the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/785/2020 and had the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; and the Director-General of the Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha joined as respondents.

The statement released by SERAP also had a description of the suit as “This suit is permitted under the Freedom Information Act, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party”.

It also partly read, “SERAP is seeking an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Muhammadu Buhari to tell Nigerians the names of countries and bodies that have been given the loans, specific repayment conditions, and whether any public officers solicited and/or received bribes in the negotiations for any of the loans, and if there is a plan to audit the spending of the loans, to resolve any allegations of mismanagement and corruption”.

The non-profit organisation, SERAP, has further asked the court to “direct and compel President Buhari to tell Nigerians if he would instruct the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to monitor the spending of all loans obtained since May 2015”.

SERAP argued that if these actions are not being carried out, there would be continuous negative impacts on the interests of citizens. It stressed that “Transparency would ensure that the loans are not diverted to private pockets and increase public trust. These loans would be used to the benefit of Nigerians, provide good value for money and reassure Nigeria’s creditors”.

However, no date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

Uchechi Ojo
Uchechi Ojo, is a Lagos-born and based writer, newscaster and voice-over artist. A versatile and committed journalist with the yearning to make a difference in the industry. She writes balanced, informative and interesting stories. Uchechi has the ability to interact and listen with rapt attention, excellent time management and great communication skills while paying attention to detail. She is very approachable and a good team player. Instagram | LinkedIn
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