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$16bn Power Spending: SERAP Backs EFCC’s Probe Of OBJ

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has thrown its weight behind the reported probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), of $16 billion spent on power project during former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration.

SERAP in a statement issued, yesterday, by its deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, said ‘’it is an opportunity for the anti-graft agency to show that former head of state and other high-ranking public officials are not immune from investigation and prosecution for allegations of grand corruption in Nigeria.

“This probe is something, which SERAP has consistently called for. Nigerians have for too long been denied justice and the opportunity to get to the bottom of why they continued to pay electricity bills for staying in darkness”.

According to reports, the EFCC has begun the probe of the $16 billion power project of the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. While some put the exact cost of the project at $16 billion, others say it is $13.8 billion.

Key contractors and about 18 top public officers allegedly involved in the power project scam during the Obasanjo administration, and those of former Presidents Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan, may also be arrested.

He said: “The probe is timely, especially coming at a time of persistent allegations of corruption and its impacts on human rights. Investigating allegations of grand corruption and prosecuting former heads of state and other high-ranking officials where such allegations showed relevant and sufficient admissible evidence would address the grave travesty that has for many years occurred in the power sector.”

The organization also said: “The EFCC should urgently invite anyone suspected to be involved for questioning. The agency should also expand the probe to cover the alleged squandering of a total of N11 trillion in the power sector between 1999 and 2015, and the unresolved case of the reported missing of $12.4 billion oil windfall, allegedly spent between 1988 and 1993 by the government of former military dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida.”

The statement read in part: “The EFCC has the full support of Nigerians in its efforts to hold high-ranking public officials to account for grand corruption, and if consistently, fairly and diligently pursued, this probe would contribute to ending impunity for corruption, and to mobilising and encouraging youths civic engagement in the anti-graft fight in the country.

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