SERAP wants lawmakers indicted in 2016 Budget padding prosecuted

SERAP wants lawmakers indicted in 2016 Budget padding prosecuted
March 27 09:19 2017

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP) has written to President Muhammadu Buhari urging him to prosecute  principal officers of the National Assembly and other state actors who allegedly took part in the padding and stealing of 481 billion naira from the 2016 Budget.

The group also urged the President to halt alleged ongoing attempt by some principal officers of the National Assembly to divert N40 billion of the N100 billion allocated as ‘zonal intervention’ in the 2017 budget.

In the letter dated 24 March 2017 and signed by SERAP deputy director, Timothy Adewale, the group gave the President a two-week ultimatum to take the above steps or face legal action.

The group also called on the President to: “Closely monitor and scrutinise the spending of N131 billion (accrued from increased oil bench mark) allocated for additional non-constituency projects expenditure, to remove the possibility of corruption.”

According to the letter, the group said it had received credible information that some principal officers of the National Assembly had been implicated by Federal Government investigators in the 2016 Budget padding scandal, adding that the same officers were about to commit a similar crime in the 2017 Budget.

“Unless the principal officers indicted in the alleged padding of the 2016 budget are promptly prosecuted and any stolen public funds recovered, your government will not be able to stop the alleged ongoing attempts to steal from the 2017 budget.

Publishing the report of the investigation of the alleged padding of the 2016 budget, and prosecuting suspected perpetrators are absolutely important to avoid another padding in the 2017 budget, which your government can ill afford,” the letter read in part.