Group Sues Governors, Others Over Public Fund Management

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A Group, Policing Nigeria Awareness Initiative (PNAI), has sued incumbent and former governors in an Abuja Federal High Court, seeking the release of information on the management of public funds.

 

The group joined 19 federal institutions and two dominant labour unions in the country as defendants in the suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/607/2015, filed by nine of its members.

 

However, the suit had not been assigned to any judge.

 

PNAI argued that it initiated the suit, considering the inability of some state governments to pay workers’ salaries and the recent bailout released to the governors.

 

It, therefore, sought 19 orders of mandamus, directing Federal Government agencies to produce records showing allocations from Federation Account to state governors between May 29, 2007 and May 29, 2015.

 

The group also seeks an order of mandamus compelling the agencies to furnish the court with information on local and foreign debts of the 36 state governments and FCT within the period.

 

They also pray the court to compel all concerned government institutions to produce records of the capital expenditures of the 36 state governors and the FCT within the period.

 

The plaintiffs further urged the court to compel the Code of Conduct Bureau to produce the asset declaration forms submitted by incumbent and immediate past governors.

 

They also urged the court to compel the Code of Conduct Bureau to produce the asset declaration forms submitted by state commissioners and the governors’ special advisers and other aides.

 

The plaintiffs claimed in the suit filed by their counsel, Mr Sunday Adikwu, that they instituted the suit on behalf of the group, their respective geopolitical zones and Nigerians home and abroad.

 

They submitted that the suit was brought pursuant to the provisions of Section 1(2) and (3) of the Freedom of Information Act.

 

The Federal Government agencies joined as defendants include the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

 

Others are the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, Code of Conduct Bureau, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission and the Debt Management Office.

 

Also joined as defendants are Bureau for Public Procurement, Central Bank of Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Finance, Accountant-General of the Federation, Securities and Exchange Commission and Bureau for Public Enterprises.

 

Others are the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Minister of Petroleum Resources, NNPC Group Managing Director, Ministry of Petroleum Resources and Federal Ministry of Education.

 

Also, the Director-General of Federal Inland Revenue Services, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) are defendants. (NAN)

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