Floods: SERAP issues one-week ultimatum to FG over audit of ecological funds
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has issued a one-week ultimatum to the Federal Government over investigative audit into the spending of “ecological Fund by governments at all levels—federal, state and local governments from 2001 to date.”
This was contained in a statement issued on Sunday by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare.
The rights group urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to promptly and thoroughly investigate” the funds.
This appeal came in the wake of the ravaging flooding in some parts of the country has resulted in the loss of over 600 lives, displacement of more than a million persons, and destruction of properties worth billions. The most affected states include Anambra, Delta, Kogi, Rivers, Benue, Yobe, Cross River and Bayelsa.
SERAP said, “Suspected perpetrators of corruption and mismanagement should face prosecution as appropriate, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, and any missing public funds should be fully recovered.
“Trillions of ecological funds have allegedly gone down the drain. The resulting human costs directly threaten human rights – rights to life and to a place to live – rights that your government has an obligation to protect.”
Read also:2023 BUDGET: SERAP condemns N13.8bn entitlements to ex-presidents, VPs, others active in politics
“Irrespective of the cause of a threat to human rights, your government still has positive obligations to use all the means within its disposal to uphold the human rights of those affected.”
“Although ecological funds are shared across the three tiers of government, and emergency management agencies, the funds are managed and supervised by the Federal Government.”
“Your government has the legal obligations to hold all tiers of government and emergency management agencies to account, and to trace, find, and recover any missing ecological funds.”
“Your government has the legal obligations to address the calamitous consequences of flooding for the human rights of millions of people, and to prevent and address some of the direst consequences that climate change may reap on human rights, especially given the disproportionate impact on vulnerable people and communities.”
“Your government must use all means available to it to prevent and address the threats to human rights that result from climate change, and to provide access to effective remedies for victims when these rights are violated.”
“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall consider appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.”
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