The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has been accused of failing to look into the missing environmental funds at all levels.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), which made the claim, also sued the President.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), as well as Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, are named as Respondents in the lawsuit.
The decision to sue was made as a result of “the failure to investigate the spending of trillions of ecological funds by governments at all levels—federal, state, and local governments from 2001 to date, and to ensure the prosecution of suspected perpetrators of corruption and mismanagement of public funds,” according to a statement released on Sunday by Kolawole Oluwadare, the deputy director of SERAP.
In the suit number FHC/L/CS/2283/2022 filed last Friday at the Federal High Court, Lagos, SERAP is asking the court to “direct and compel President Buhari to promptly and thoroughly investigate the spending of Ecological Fund by governments at the Federal, state and local government levels from 2001 to date.”
The rights group also wants the court to “direct and compel President Buhari to ensure that suspected perpetrators of corruption and mismanagement of trillions of ecological funds are promptly brought to justice, and any missing public funds fully recovered.”
“The failure to probe the alleged missing trillions, prosecute suspected perpetrators and recover any missing public funds is a fundamental breach of constitutional and international legal obligations,” the statement partly read.
“Impunity for corruption in the management of Ecological Fund will continue as long as high-ranking public officials go largely unpunished for their alleged crimes.
“It is in the public interest to direct and compel President Buhari to probe these allegations so that evidence can be taken before the court and the truth about the spending of ecological funds revealed, and justice served.”
The group also claimed that the Federal Government had broken its duties to maintain and defend the affected people’s human rights as well as to give them access to justice and practical remedies.
It was contended that the federal government has a legal duty to address the catastrophic effects of flooding on millions of people’s human rights as well as to prevent and mitigate the potential effects of climate change on human rights.
The hearing date for the lawsuit has not yet been set.