Nigeria: SERAP Backs Obasanjo's Probe Over $16bn Power Project Funds

19 August 2019

Lagos — The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has said that it is in support of the reported probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of the government of former president Olusegun Obasanjo over $16billion allegedly squandered on power project.

The organisation said that it is an opportunity for the anti-graft agency to show that former heads of state and other high-ranking public officials are not immune from investigation and prosecution for allegations of grand corruption in Nigeria.

In a statement on Sunday, SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare said the probe was timely, especially coming at a time of citizens' frustrations at persistent allegations of corruption and the impacts on their human rights.

The organization said: "This probe is something, which SERAP has consistently called for. Nigerians have for far too long been denied justice and the opportunity to get to the bottom of why they continue to pay the price for corruption in the electricity sector-staying in darkness, but still made to pay crazy electricity bills.

"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.

"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 $12.4 billion oil windfall, allegedly spent between 1988 and 1993 by the government of former military dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida."

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