The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has asked the Federal High Court, Abuja, to order President Muhammadu Buhari to publicly publish the details of all the loans he has taken since assuming Office on May 29, 2015,
SERAP, in a statement on Sunday, by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, also sought for the details of the interest rates on such loans, the total amount of debts that have so far been incurred by the President Buhari administration, and details of the projects on which the loans have been spent.
It made the request in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/785/2020, filed before the court.
Also joined as Respondents in the suit, are the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; and Director-General of the Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha.
However, no date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.
The suit was filed on behalf of SERAP by its Lawyers Oluwadare and Adelanke Aremo.
Read the details below:
The massive and growing national debts have continued to have negative impacts on socio-economic development and on Nigerians’ access to public goods and services, including quality education, adequate healthcare, clean water, and regular electricity supply.
SERAP is praying the court to hold that the interest of the public in publishing the information sought is far greater than any other interest President Buhari may be trying to preserve.
Transparency and accountability in the spending details of all the loans that have so far been obtained by the government, and those obtained by previous administrations would mean that the loans can help Nigeria to overcome its acute development challenges, and reduce the possibility of mismanagement and corruption.
SERAP is seeking an order to direct and compel President Buhari to disclose information on details of spending of loans obtained by successive governments since the return of democracy in 1999, list of countries and bodies that have given the loans, and specific conditions of repayment of the loans.
Obedience to the rule of law by all citizens but more particularly those who publicly took the oath of office to protect and preserve the constitution is a desideratum to good governance and respect for the rule of law.
The Nigeria Government has signed on to the Open Government Partnership [OGP], and the country is a state party to the UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption.