Buhari Heads To Egypt For Peace And Development Forum

 

President Muhammadu Buhari will tomorrow depart from Abuja the nation’s capital for Aswan in Egypt, to attend a forum designed to set “an agenda for sustainable peace and development in Africa.”

The forum which holds from December the 11th to the 12th is an initiative to address the interconnections between peace and development in Africa while promoting Africa-led solutions through strengthening policies and practices.

The initiative is being launched by the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in his capacity as the chairman of the African Union (AU) and as an advocate of post-conflict reconstruction and development in Africa.

READ ALSO: Declare State Of Emergency In Power Sector, Senate President Tells Buhari

The gathering is expected to bring together heads of state and government, leaders from regional and international organizations, financial institutions, private sector, and civil societies as well as scholars, among others.

The President will be accompanied by Governors Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa, Godwin Obaseki of Edo and Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State, as well as the minister of Defence, National Security Adviser and director-general of the NIA.

Declare State Of Emergency In Power Sector, Senate President Tells Buhari

 

 

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan on Monday called on the Executive to, as a matter of urgency, declare a state of emergency in the power sector to overcome the legion of problems stalling steady power supply in Nigeria.

Lawan stated this while declaring open a one-day round-table discussion with the theme: “Addressing Nigeria’s Power Problems” organized by the Senate Committee on Power.

The Senate President said the privatization of the power sector in 2005 and 2013 was a grand scheme conceived with the intention to defraud Nigeria.

He said, “For me if there’s any sector of our economy that is so important and yet so challenged, it is the power sector. I believe that this is a sector that needs a declaration of emergency.

“This is an opportunity for us in this round-table to exhaustively discuss not only the problems of the power sector in Nigeria but the solutions and way forward.

“The truth is that we all know what is wrong. What we really need to do is to have the political will to take on the challenges generally.

READ ALSO: Lawan Urges Service Chiefs To Repel Attacks, Assault By Bandits

“From the electricity power reform of 2005 to the privatization of Gencos and Discos and to what is happening today, we know that everything is a fraud. If we play the ostrich, in the next ten years we will be talking about the same things.

“I think the time has come for us to have courage. I want to remind us, that we have signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. What will give us an edge is to have a competitive environment.

“Our industries and businesses must be able to produce things that can compete favourably with products produced in other countries in Africa. We are not in that position today, and we all know the consequences of that.

“Even our citizens, who have capital, will rather relocate to Ghana, produce whatever they want and bring to Nigeria to sell. Where does that leave our country? No employment opportunities; Nigeria becomes a dumping ground.”

The Senate President, therefore, called for a review of the privatization exercise undertaken by the Goodluck Jonathan administration which led to a takeover of the power sector by private Generating Companies (Gencos) and Distribution Companies (Discos).

He added that the National Assembly would make a significant contribution to the reform of the power sector through enabling legislation required to turn around the fortunes of power generation and distribution in Nigeria.

“If we went wrong with our privatization of Gencos and Discos, the time has come to look into it.

“Whatever we have to do to review these things, we should do. We must do it in the interest of the people of this country. We must admit there was something done wrong.

“This round-table actually is an idea of the Senate, that we should come together to talk among ourselves. Ours is to provide legislative interventions, but we are also part of the government.

“Therefore, whatever that is required to support the executive arm of government to turn-around this sector, in fact we are more than prepared to do so through legislation.

“If we are going to amend the power sector reform, we are prepared to do that, and expeditiously. Tell us where the issues are, because we can’t afford to delay any action to make the power sector of this country perform.

“In the sixties, we were comparing ourselves with Indonesia, Malaysia and the rest, now we started comparing with Ghana, Togo. With all due respect, that tells us we are not making progress where other countries are.”

“This round-table is an opportunity to come up with measurable roadmaps because we are not going to leave the implementation to the executive alone. We want to participate in every inch of the way.

“Every bit of what is to be done; we want to be part of it, so that we can contribute meaningfully to take the power sector to the next level.

“It is really disheartening that we are still talking about 4,000 megawatts. I don’t understand this. Other countries within Africa are talking of so much, even Ghana is three times better than what we are doing.”

Lawan called on the federal government to deploy the political will towards revamping Nigeria’s failing power sector, saying, “We are yet the largest economy in Africa, for how long can we sustain that position?

“I believe that we have to declare a state of emergency on Power, and courageous decisions must be taken by the government”, the Senate President said.

Earlier, the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, in his welcome address said the “interaction was arranged out of the concern of the Senate and National Assembly about the intractable problems that we have been facing in the power sector.”

According to Abdullahi, “a lot of resources and human effort have gone into finding solutions to problems that have put this country several decades backwards, particularly because of the issues that have been raised and have undermined the development of power.”

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Senator Gabriel Suswam, said, “There’s no doubting the consequential role which electricity plays in the economic development of countries.

The lawmaker lamented that Nigeria currently holds the position of being the second country in the world after India, with the highest population in the world without access to electricity.

Suswam identified challenges in the power sector to include: institutional and governance; infrastructural; political; legislative and environmental.

“Most institutions of government saddled with the responsibility of managing the power sector lack the capability and capacity to function effectively”, he said.

The lawmaker added that there is serious infrastructural deficit in the entire value chain of the power sector, adding that “this more than any other challenge requires attention.”

Among representatives from the executive arm of government that attended the round-table organised by the Senate Committee on Power are the Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman and Managing Director, Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading PLC, Marilyn Amobi.

Photos: Buhari Receives CEO Total Group Worldwide

 

President Buhari on Thursday received in audience Mr. Patrick Pouyanne, Chairman and CEO of Total Group Worldwide at the State House in Abuja. 

Below are some photos from the meeting between the President and Mr. Pouyanne.

READ ALSO: E-Nigeria Conference: Buhari Unveils Strategy For Digital Economy

Purported Legal Action Seeking Third Term For President Buhari Is Illegal – APC

APC Replies Secondus, Says PDP Seeking Relevance After Election Loss
APC spokesman, Mr Lanre Issa-Onilu.

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has read in the media about a purported legal action taken by a self-proclaimed member of the Party, Charles Enya, seeking an amendment of the constitution to allow President Muhammadu Buhari run for a third term in office.

The Party had initially chosen to ignore him, however, it has become important to send a clear message to him and such other agent provocateurs.

At the last National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the Party, President Buhari didn’t mince words and he is not the type that talks tongue in cheek.

He pointedly said he would abide by the constitution and uphold the oath of office he took, swearing by the holy book he believes in.

This he said was beside his advanced age which made such an idea beyond his contemplation.

READ ALSO: Buhari To Embark On Malabo Trip, Five-Day Working Visit To Daura

The NEC meeting highlights released to the media by the party equally quoted the President admonishing APC members, leaders and elected officials to reposition themselves in their respective constituencies so as to sustain the administration’s landmark legacies beyond 2023 when the President’s constitutionally permitted terms end.

The president said history would not be fair to members of the APC collapses after his second term. What better proof is required of the President’s resolve to abide by the constitution on term limit?

The Party is, however, by this statement sending a strong signal to such other busybodies like Charles Enya who may be contemplating testing the resolve of our government on our mission to work for the best for our country to be ready to face the law.

We would follow this new enemy of our country, who is most likely being sponsored by the desperate and misguided opposition, every step of the way, using all legal means to thwart his devilish efforts to create chaos in our country.

As a party, we would not take kindly to anyone or group causing an unnecessary distraction for this administration through anti-democratic actions. As a country, we are several years behind where we ought to be.

The President Buhari-led administration is focused on the onerous responsibility of delivering good governance. We are focused on revamping our moribund infrastructure, growing the economy, fighting corruption, creating the right environment for our teeming youths to deploy their creative energies, and providing adequate security for all of our people.

We have tried to find out the status of this character claiming to be a member of our party. If he turns out to be our member, we would ensure the party organ that has the responsibility to act on this matter promptly commence the process of expelling him. We are a progressive party and we do not have space for anti-democratic forces and charlatans.

We Will Not Allow Religion To Divide Nigerians – Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in Abuja expressed the strong determination of his administration to forge a strong, united nation from the diverse religious and ethnic communities in the country.

Receiving the Tijjaniyya Muslim Religious Movement at the State House, President Buhari lauded the prevalence of mutual understanding among the followers of the two major religions in the country, Islam and Christianity.

“It is generally said that differences divide people. We in Nigeria understand that there is no way a misunderstanding can cause division among us. We are one people,” he said.

President Buhari told leaders of the delegation, mostly Senegalese, that the Tijjaniyya religious order was not new to him or to Nigerians, citing specific communities around him who practised its ways and commended them for being orderly, peaceful and constructive.

READ ALSO: Buhari Urges Judiciary To Create Special Crime Courts

“The requirements of our people, whatever religion they follow, and to whatever ethnic group they belong in Nigeria is the same.

‘‘They need security, education and participation in an inclusive economy. On this, we are being very fair to all Nigerians,” he said.

The Nigerian leader welcomed the prayers of the religious group for his wellbeing and for the peace and progress in Nigeria.

He urged them to convey his best wishes to President Macky Sall of Senegal, saying: “ I assure you that I am very close to your President. He addresses me as ‘Baba’,’’.

The leader of the delegation, Sheikh Muhammad Lamin Inyas, son of one of the greatest Muslim religious Leaders in West Africa, Sheikh Ibrahim Inyas said their father brought them up to love and appreciate his large following in Kano and Nigerian cities.

“We are part of this country. We have come here to renew ties and the bonds of relationship. This is our reason for the homage,” he said.

The delegation prayed for the realization of best wishes and aspirations of President Buhari, and for unity and solidarity among the universal followers of the religion.

‘I Won’t Make The Mistake Of Running For Third Term’ – The Week In Quotes

 

In the course of the passing week, the Nigerian media space has been filed with reports stemming from the elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States. 

However, beyond the elections, the world has witnessed various striking events including but not limited to the exit of Pochettino and the emergence of Mourinho as coach of the spurs, as well as the Pope’s groundbreaking visit to Asia.

From all the different events we have witnessed in the passing week, here are some of the outstanding quotes that tend to put things into perspective, even as we step into a new week pregnant with endless possibilities.

1. “I can afford to be reckless because I am not going to ask for anybody’s vote” 

President Muhammadu Buhari clears the air over a third term agenda, saying he can afford to be reckless because he has no plans to remain in power after 2023 elections.

2. “A wave of terror is threatening our democracy.”

Leader of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Uche Secondus, says the nation’s democracy is under threat, following the manner in which the November 16th elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States were conducted and the outcomes that followed.

3. “Any request from Buhari will make Nigeria better, we’ll act on it expeditiously.” 

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, says the Senate is yet to receive any formal request from President Muhammadu Buhari for confirmation of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu.

4. “All of them are part of our family. They are our mothers, our brothers, and sisters. Let us not deprive our communities of seeing their faces, their wounds, their smiles, and their lives.” 

Pope Francis at an impassioned mass for tens of thousands of emotional worshippers at a packed Bangkok stadium, urges respect for prostitutes and trafficking victims in a part of the world where sex work is rampant.

5. “The citizens of Israel, all of us, and myself, look up to the elected officials, and first and foremost — to the prime minister”

Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit speaks on the indictment of Israel’s embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

6. “All that we have seen in all the elections is a steady decline in the efficacy of our elections. I do not know how INEC can accept the figures that came out of those elections.”

Lawmakers representing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Senate reject the outcome of Kogi and Bayelsa State elections.

7. “I would have congratulated Governor Yahaya Bello but unfortunately, I cannot because he won no election. What he won was a war waged by him and the Nigerian Police, so I cannot congratulate him.”

The Spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Council, Kogi State, Faruk Adejoh-Audu says he cannot congratulate Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello because Kogi State was turned into a war field during the Saturday election.

8.“What can I promise? Passion, real passion; Passion for my job, but also passion for my club, that’s the way I have been my entire career.”

Jose Mourinho promises “real passion” following his appointment as Tottenham Hotspur boss on Wednesday after Mauricio Pochettino was sacked by the struggling Premier League club.

9. “Helicopter hovering around Polling units in Lokoja, dropping bullets on innocent, harmless citizens and electorate; and as I speak, yesterday, teargas being fired from this helicopter.”

Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Kogi West Senatorial District rerun election, Dino Melaye, condemns the results, calling it ‘fictitious’.

10.

Any Request From Buhari Will Make Nigeria Better, We’ll Act On It Expeditiously – Lawan

 

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Thursday, said the Senate is yet to receive any formal request from President Muhammadu Buhari for confirmation of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu.

Lawan made the disclosure when a delegation of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption paid a courtesy visit to his office at the National Assembly, Abuja.

Senator Lawan said the Senate is willing to approve all requests that come from President Muhammadu Buhari because they are in the best interest of the people.

He, however, stressed that the request to confirm Magu was yet to make it to the floor of the hallowed chambers.

“The confirmation of acting chairman of EFCC – there is no request before this Senate for the confirmation of the acting chairman of EFCC.

“This is a new senate and therefore until there is a request to this senate, there is nothing the Senate can do.

“I want to assure you that any request that comes from Mr. President is a request that will make Nigeria a better place either in terms of appointments or legislation and the senate will act expeditiously to ensure that we play our part in the confirmation or passing of legislation appropriately,” Lawan said.

Chairman of the Presidential Committee and leader of the delegation, Prof. Itse Sagay, in his address, craved the cooperation of the upper chamber in ensuring the confirmation of the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, as well as the consideration of several Anti-corruption Bills introduced under the Eight National Assembly.

Sagay also informed the Senate leadership present at the meeting that the Committee had severally received complaints that members of the National Assembly, particularly Chairmen of Committees, solicit monetary compensation for undertaking oversight functions.

READ ALSO: President Buhari Congratulates Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello On His Re-Election

Responding to Sagay, the Senate President said:

“Going by our rules, any issue that was not concluded in the lifetime of the Eight National Assembly would have to start all over again.

“As far as we are concerned, those bills would have to come again and go through the process from the very beginning. We are prepared to begin work on them if the bills are ready.”

On the confirmation of Magu, Lawan said, “there’s no request before this Ninth Senate for the confirmation of the Chairman of the EFCC.

“This is a new Senate and therefore until there’s a request to this Senate, there’s nothing it can do.

“I want to assure you that if any of such requests come from the President, we will play our part in the confirmation and passing of legislation accordingly.

“On oversight, you mentioned that people complain that committees or members of the National Assembly demand monies from MDAs.

“As far as I know, I’m not in receipt of any complaint. If any committee asks for anything from any MDA that is not appropriate, the law is there to take its full course.

“We believe that no committee or no member of the National Assembly will go out of their way to ask for anything from anybody before that committee undertakes any oversight.

“The ninth Senate has decided that we will take our oversight very seriously. We believe that it is the best thing to do after we pass the budget in a good time.

“Therefore, we are going to hold those charged or entrusted with public funds for the implementation and provision of infrastructure and services accountable.

“We believe that there is a need to apply the resources efficiently and prudently.

“Also, the cost of governance in Nigeria is too high. Today, we have over seven hundred agencies of government. Many of them are not adding any value to governance.

“We believe that the time has come to review the functions of these agencies to determine their relevance.

“We need to look at how we are going to streamline these agencies to ensure we free our resources in order to add to our capital.

“The appropriation of seventy percent of our budget to recurrent is not desirable. We have to work with the executive arm of government to reduce it.

“Reducing them will not happen overnight because we have to get rid of many agencies first without having to throw people out into the labour market.”

Senators present during the visit are: Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege; Deputy Chief Whip, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi; Senate Minority Whip, Philip Aduda; Deputy Minority Whip, Sahabi Alhaji Ya’u; Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Bamidele Opeyemi, and Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah.

Other senators at the meeting are: Senators Tolulope Odebiyi (APC, Ogun West); Oseni Yakubu (APC, Kogi Central); Chairman, Committee on Federal Capital Territory, Abubakar Kyari; Chairman, Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes, Suleiman Abdul Kwari; Chairman, Committee on Water Resources, Bello Mandiya; Vice Chairman, Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff, Francis Fadahunsi, and Chairman, Committee on Rules and Business, Suleiman Umar.

PHOTOS: President Buhari Congratulates Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello On His Re-Election

 

President Buhari has congratulated the Kogi Governor-elect, Yahaya Bello.

The governor-elect was formally presented to the President today at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The presentation was done by the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole.

Bello had earlier received a Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission in Abuja on Thursday, following his victory at the polls on Saturday, November 16th.

Below are some photos from the formal presentation of the governor-elect.

READ ALSO: Buhari Receives Bayelsa Governor-Elect, David Lyon

 

Buhari Speaks About Sacking Of Osinbajo’s Aides, Insists It Is Not Political

President Muhammadu Buhari has spoken for the first time on the sack of some aides in the office of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

The President told reporters that the action which sparked heated reactions with some claiming the powers of the VP had been whittled down, was purely a reorganization with no political or ethnic undertones.

President Buhari spoke about the controversial move on Friday night when he returned to Nigeria after a private visit to the United Kingdom.

“We are going to work harder, be accountable and try to make Nigerians understand why we do certain things whether they appreciate it or not,” the President before using the firing of the VP’s aide as an example of a misunderstood move.

“Like, they said 35 people were sacked in the Vice President’s office. We just created a ministry and we reorganised and people are giving ethnic and political dimensions. It is unfortunate.”

Since the start of President Buhari’s second term, there have been claims that the office of the Vice President was being weakened. It is a claim the Presidency has repeatedly denied.

The establishment of an Economic Advisory Council to report directly to the President, to replace the Economic Management Team, which was chaired by Professor Osinbajo, fueled the claims.

As news of the firing of the VPs aide made the rounds, the claims resurfaced with the Presidency issuing statements insisting that there is no rift between both men and that the move was part of a reorganisation in the government.

President Buhari maintained the “reorganisation” position in his brief comments on the matter.

Buhari Returns From Private Visit To UK

 

President Muhammadu Buhari is back in the country after his private visit to the United Kingdom.

The President returned a day earlier than he was scheduled to.

The Presidential Jet touched down at about 9.45pm.

Speaking to reporters at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport Abuja, President Buhari says he intends to work harder and be accountable to Nigerians.

‘Warehouses Along The Border Must Be Dismantled’ – The Week In Quotes

 

Here is what was said and who said what within the course of the passing week. 

  1. “We absolutely insist on the dismantling of all the warehouses along our common borders”

    A file photo of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.

    The Federal Government gives conditions that ECOWAS countries have to meet for Nigeria to reopen its borders.

    2. “No misunderstanding between Buhari and Osinbajo”

The Presidency debunks reports of a misunderstanding between the Office of the President and the Vice President.

3. “The Presidency wishes to confirm that there is, on-going, an unprecedented overhaul of the nation’s seat of government, arising from which a number of political appointments have either been revoked or not renewed in the second term.”

The Presidency confirms the sack of some political appointees in the office of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

4. “There have been ‘Serial Assaults’ on the office of the Vice President”

Social Commentator, Yinka Odumakin, says there have been ‘serial assaults’ on the office of the Vice President.

5. “He should be arrested because there is no hate speech more than the one he was saying and was given wide publicity that governors who do not embrace cattle colony and RUGA will not know peace” 

Governor Samuel Ortom

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State explains why he called for the arrest of the President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore.

6. “My clients have fulfilled bail conditions, will be freed soon”

The Lawyer representing the detained convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Mr Omoyele Sowore, and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, says his clients have met the bail conditions imposed on them with regards to the charges of treasonable felony preferred against them by the Federal Government.

7.  “The office of the Governor has been celebrated as the paragon of excellence, a temple of perfection and a throne of purity. This demi-god mystique spreads over the entire machinery of the executive arm of the government, symbolising an authoritarian disposition on the governed”

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu asks Lagosians to address him simply as ‘Mr Governor’, saying only God is the ‘Most Excellent’.

8. “We thought there should be drones all over the place properly deployed to ensure that kidnapping is tackled. We have to find the way to track phone conversations between kidnappers and the victims’ families.”

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, asks security agents to come up with a plan on how to monitor conversations between kidnappers and families of victims.

9. “The team is playing well. We are not getting carried away and I’m not going to trap the players with any sort of pressure”

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers says he will not put extra pressure on his players by publicly targeting a top four finish in the Premier League after a 2-0 win at Crystal Palace moved the Foxes up to third.

10. “I won’t do it”

President Donald Trump says he will not remove all the existing tariffs imposed on Chinese goods as part of a deal to resolve the longstanding trade war.

11. “What came so far and what was collected is a small amount of what was spilled”

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says that “the worst is yet to come” with an oil spill that has affected more than 200 beaches on the country’s coast.

12. “Too many children and young people, rich and poor alike, in all four corners of the world, are experiencing mental health conditions” 

With the alarmingly high rates of self-harm, suicide and anxiety among children and young people around the world, UNICEF and the World Health Organization are teaming up with some of the world’s leading minds to tackle this growing threat.

13. “The President’s trips are not sightseeing trips, they are justified by outcomes. In each of the trips, we try to let Nigerians know what the things the president has achieved; and so, we are making progress, the economy needs the trips because much of it actually comes on account of who the President is”

President Muhammadu Buhari’s foreign trips are not for ‘sightseeing’, but justified by outcomes. This is the position of his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

SERAP Sues Buhari, NASS, Others ‘Over Failure To Account For Security Votes Since 1999’

SERAP Threatens To Sue UI, AAUA Over Increased Fees

 

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit in the Federal High Court, Abuja “seeking leave to apply for judicial review and an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate president Ahmed Lawan, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila to disclose details of allocations, disbursement and spending of security votes by the Federal Government, 36 state governors and 774 local governments between 1999 and 2019.”

The suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1369/2019 and filed last Friday followed SERAP’s Freedom of Information requests and “the respondents’ failure to account for some N241.2 billion of public funds allocated, disbursed and spent yearly as security votes, and the corresponding lack of effective protection of the rights to security and welfare, life and physical integrity of millions of Nigerians.”

Others joined as parties in the suit are: Mr Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Ahmed Idris, Accountant General of the Federation and Mr Anthony Ayine, Auditor General for the Federation.

READ ALSO: Sowore: ‘Stop Desecrating The Courts’, NHRC Boss Tells Law Enforcement Agents

According to SERAP: “Nigerians have the constitutional and international human right to know details of the exact amounts that have been spent as security votes and specific areas and projects covered by the allocations, disbursement and spending. There is overriding public interest in Nigerians having access to these details, and the respondents have legal obligations to facilitate public access to such information.”

SERAP also argued that: “Constitutional provisions requiring governments to ensure the security and welfare of the people are intended to protect the security and safety of citizens and not the security of a few individuals in government. Without transparency and accountability, the mismanagement and corruption in the allocation, disbursement and spending of security votes will continue with devastating consequences.”

The suit filed by SERAP’s lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Opeyemi Owolabi read in part: “The respondents have a legal duty to proactively record, keep and disclose information in respect of allocation, disbursement and spending of security votes without waiting for SERAP to request for such information. They are also required to maintain and publish documents containing information relating to the receipt or expenditure of public funds.”

“Public officials receiving and spending security votes ought to come clean with Nigerians on how exactly these public funds are spent. Unless the reliefs sought are granted, Nigerians would continue to see the appropriation of public funds as security votes as a tool for self-enrichment.”

“The suit is seeking to offer governments at all levels an important opportunity to be transparent and accountable with the exercise of their discretionary powers in the allocation, disbursement and spending of security votes. The public interest in the disclosure of these details outweighs any private interest the respondents may be seeking to protect.”

“The right to know allows Nigerians to gain access to information essential to the fight against corruption, which is entirely consistent with the government’s own anti-corruption strategy to encourage citizens’ involvement in the fight against corruption. Access to information on details of security votes will ultimately foster security, sustainable peace, and development of democratic institutions across the country.”

“Public officers are mere custodians of public records. The citizens are entitled to know how their commonwealth is being utilized, managed and administered in a democratic setting, as this positively influences the feeling of belonging in the society.”

“The huge financial resources budgeted for security votes by successive governments have not matched the security realities in the country, especially given the level of insecurity, violence, kidnappings and killings in many parts of the country, which seem to suggest massive political use, mismanagement or stealing of security votes by many governments.”

“As revealed by a 2018 report by Transparency International (TI), most of the funds appropriated as security votes are spent on political activities, mismanaged or simply stolen. It is estimated that security votes add up to over N241.2 billion every year. On top of appropriated security votes, governments also receive millions of dollars yearly as international security assistance.”

SERAP is therefore seeking the following reliefs:

A declaration that the failure of the Respondents to provide the Applicant with specific information on details of the expenditure, non-planned extra-budgetary spending on “Security” (otherwise referred to as ‘Security Votes’) allocated and disbursed to the Federal Government of Nigeria, 36 States of the Federation and 774 local governments in Nigeria for the periods covering between 1999 and 2019 is illegal and constitutes a breach of the Applicant’s rights under the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.

An Order of Mandamus directing and/or compelling the Respondents to urgently compile and provide the Applicant with specific information on details of the expenditure, non-planned extra-budgetary spending on “Security” (otherwise referred to as ‘Security Votes’) by the Federal Government of Nigeria, 36 States of the Federation and 774 local governments in Nigeria for the periods covering between 1999 and 2019.

And for such further order(s) this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.