Name All Suspected Looters—Court Orders FG.
A Federal High Court, Lagos today ordered the Federal Government to immediately release to Nigerians information about the names of high ranking public officials from whom public funds were recovered and the circumstances under which funds were recovered, as well as the exact amount of funds recovered from each public official.
Justice Hadizat Rabiu-Shagari, gave the order while was delivering judgement in a Freedom of Information suit marked FHC/CS/964/2016, brought before the court by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).
The suit according to SERAP was filed following a disclosure last year by the Nigeria Government that some funds have been recovered from some high-ranking public officials and private individuals.
Justice Rabiu-Shagari in the judgment agreed with SERAP that “the Federal Government has a legally binding obligations to tell Nigerians the names of all suspected looters of the public treasury past and present.”
Joined as Defendants in the suit are: the Minister of Information Alhaji Lai Muhammed and the Federal Ministry of Information
In granting SERAP’s application , Justice Rabiu-Shagari declared that by the virtue of the provisions of Section 4 (a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, the defendants are under a binding legal obligation to provide the Plaintiff with up to date information relating to widely disseminate including on a dedicated website information about the names of high ranking public officials from whom public funds were recovered since May 2015.
She also ordered the defendants to declare the circumstances under which stolen funds were returned.