The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sued the Minister of Power, Works and Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN over failure to disclose specific names and details of contractors and companies that allegedly collected money for electricity projects but failed to execute any projects, starting from the return of democracy in 1999 to 2018.
In the suit, which was filed last week at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, SERAP is seeking an order for leave to apply for judicial review and an order of mandamus compelling Mr Fashola to provide specific details on the names and whereabouts of the contractors who collected public funds meant for electricity projects but disappeared with the money without executing any projects.
The suit followed SERAP’s Freedom of Information request dated 4 January, 2019 giving Mr Fashola 14 days to publish “the names of all contractors and companies that have been engaged in the power sector since the return of democracy in 1999 to date, details of specific projects and the amounts that have been paid to the contractors and companies, details on the level of implementation of electricity projects and their specific locations across the country.”
The organization said: “publishing the names will make it hard for contractors and companies to get away with complicity in grand corruption. The citizens have the right to see that the Freedom of Information Act is enforced where there is an infraction of the right to information or a threat of its being violated, in matters of public interests.”
The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its counsel, Adelanke Aremo read in part: “by compelling Mr Fashola to name the contractors and their registration details, if any, Nigerians will be better able to hold them to account for allegedly absconding with public funds meant for electricity projects, thereby throwing the country into perpetual darkness and socio-economic stagnation as well as denying people their human rights.”
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.
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