By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos—THE Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has urged the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr. Abubakar Malami SAN; Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu; and Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, to revisit and hasten prosecution of all cases of corruption in the electricity sector and ensure effective recovery of stolen public funds.
The organization made the remarks, yesterday, at the Policy Dialogue on Promoting Transparency and Accountability in the Judiciary, Education and Electricity sectors, organized by SERAP, in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation, United States of America, USA.
The cases listed to be revisited include: “the case of the Ramsome Owan-led Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, and the investigation of Mr. Goodknows Igali on the alleged diversion of funds of workers of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria.”
SERAP is also urging “the ICPC to make public the status of the investigation and recommendations for prosecution (if any) on the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC, recruitment scandal/jumbo pay scandal given the fact that the Nigerian Government and public have 40 per cent stakes in the AEDC. The EFCC should revisit the Elumelu report on the Rural Electrification scandal and ensure that all suspected perpetrators are brought to justice.”
According to SERAP, “The EFCC and ICPC should scrutinize, prioritize and conclude pending investigations of all power sector-related cases and make report public (where applicable), as well as bring to justice suspected perpetrators. The EFCC and ICPC should probe metering and billing fraud and corruption. Most consumers are unhappy with their billing methodology and feel short-changed by the operators.”
In the 15-Point Programme for Promoting Transparency and Accountability in the Judiciary, Education and Electricity sectors in Nigeria launched at the Policy Dialogue, SERAP, also sought Malami to: “request the report of the House of Representative Committee that probed government spending in the power sector from 2000 to 2007, make the report public and ensure appropriate legal action against anyone suspected to be involved in corruption.”
The Policy Dialogue, which discussed how to effectively implement SERAP’s core reports on corruption in the judiciary, education and electricity sectors was attended by the civil society, the media, ministries, departments and agencies, among others.
Among those in attendance were: Mr. Ahmed Rufai Zakari, Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari; Nikki Umeh, Special Adviser to Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo; and Fasina Olakunle, representative of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
Others included Dr Felix.O Okpe representing Deputy Senate President; Ashley Emenike, representing the Senate Committee on Corruption; Biodun Aikomo, Special Adviser to the Attorney General of the Federation; and Mr Aaron Artimas Senior Special Adviser to the Minister of Power.
All the participants at the Policy Dialogue agreed to work to ensure the effective implementation of the 15-Point Programme.
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