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  • News - North Central - FCT
  • Updated: June 04, 2023

President Tinubu Threatened With Legal Action Over Missing Subsidy Payments

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on President Bola Tinubu to probe the allegations that $2.1 billion and N3.1 trillion in public funds from oil revenues and budgeted as fuel subsidy payments went missing and unaccounted for between 2016 and 2019.

Speaking in a letter dated June 3, 2023, SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare urged the president to expose and shame those responsible for the widespread and systemic corruption in the use of oil revenues and the management of public funds budgeted as fuel subsidies.

The group also told Tinubu to swiftly, completely, independently, transparently and effectively investigate all fuel subsidies paid by successive governments since the restoration of democracy in 1999, and to use any recovered proceeds of crime as palliatives to address the impact of any subsidy removal on poor Nigerian citizens.

SERAP further disclosed that it would take legal action if the recommended measures are not taken within three days.

“Your government should urgently act to follow due process of law in any policy to remove fuel subsidy, ensure that suspected perpetrators of these crimes against Nigerians are brought to justice, and full recovery of any missing public funds.

“Arbitrarily removing fuel subsidy without addressing outstanding accountability issues in the alleged mismanagement of oil revenues and fuel subsidy payments would amount to punishing poverty and further impoverishing the poor while letting high-profile officials and non-state actors get away with their crimes.

“Any removal of fuel subsidy should not be used as a ploy to keep the poor in poverty while those who allegedly stole oil revenues and fuel subsidy payments keep their ill-gotten wealth.

“Allegations of corruption in oil revenues and fuel subsidy payments suggest that the poor have rarely benefited from the use and management of the revenues and payments.

“Poor and socio-economically vulnerable Nigerians should not be made to continue to pay the price for the stealing of the country’s oil wealth while state and non-state actors pocket public funds.

“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 3 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter.

“If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.

“The proposed panel should be headed by a retired justice of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeal, and its members should include people with proven professional records, and of the highest integrity that can act impartially, independently, and transparently", the letter partly reads.

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