SOCIO-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The organisation urged the President to “direct the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami (SAN) and/or appropriate anti-corruption agencies to urgently investigate corruption allegations in the use of the monthly federal allocations to the 774 local government areas in the country through the 36 state governors and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)”.
SERAP also sought investigations into “the alleged complicity of governors in corruption cases involving local government allocations between 1999 and 2019”.
It stressed that “if there is relevant and sufficient admissible evidence” suspected perpetrators should be “prosecuted by anti-corruption agencies and any stolen public funds recovered should be used to provide public goods and services”.
SERAP’s letter followed the reported arrest last week by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of 16 local government chairmen in Kwara State, who were suspended by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
They allegedly misappropriated N4 billion loan meant for paying teachers’ salaries and local government pensioners.
In the letter, dated November 1, 2019, and signed by SERAP Deputy Director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “Investigating state governors and local government chairmen over allegations of corruption and abuse of power in the use of federal allocations meant to provide public goods and services would best serve the general public interests and welfare.
“We request that you take the recommended action within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter, failing which SERAP will institute legal proceedings to compel your government to act in the public interest.”