The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has said it has secured legal authority to sue Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
According to the group in a tweet on Wednesday, the suit is to compel Nigeria’s numbers three and four citizens to investigate alleged missing N4. 4 billion budgeted for the National Assembly.
The motion on notice is to be served on the respondents within seven days, the group added.
Hon. Justice Ekwo of Court 5 also ordered that the Motion on Notice be served on the Respondents within seven days of the order, together with hearing notices.
The suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/366/2021 is adjourned to 13th July, 2021 for the hearing of the substantive application.
— SERAP (@SERAPNigeria) June 23, 2021
“The Federal High Court in Abuja today granted SERAP the permission to pursue our case seeking to compel Senate President Dr. Lawan and Speaker Mr Gbajabiamila to investigate or refer to anti-corruption agencies alleged missing N4.4bn budgeted for the National Assembly.
“Hon. Justice Ekwo of Court 5 also ordered that the Motion on Notice be served on the Respondents within seven days of the order, together with hearing notices.
“The suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/366/2021 is adjourned to 13th July, 2021 for the hearing of the substantive application,” it said.
SERAP had in March filed a lawsuit against Lawan and Gbajabiamila over “their failure to probe, and to refer to appropriate anti-corruption agencies allegations that N4.4bn of public money budgeted for the National Assembly is missing, misappropriated, diverted or stolen, as documented in three annual audited reports by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation.”
The suit followed the publication of annual audited reports for 2015, 2017 and 2018 in which the Auditor-General of the Federation raised “concerns about alleged diversion and misappropriation of public funds, sought the recovery of any missing funds, and asked that the evidence of recovery should be forwarded to his office.”