– SERAP wants to know if public funds meant to provide security and ensure respect and protection of the rights to life is used for the purpose.
– It urges the governments to open up on the matter and provide information and documents as requested.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) is asking President Muhammadu Buhari and the 36 state governors to provide specific information regarding the spending of public funds appropriated as security votes between 2011 and 2019.
SERAP made the request in separate Freedom of Information (FOI) requests sent to the president and the governors in order to know if public funds meant to provide security and ensure the protection of the lives of Nigerians have been spent for that purpose.
Citing the current security realities in the country as the reason for requesting the information in the FOI requests dated April the 12, SERAP said: “Given the current security realities in the country, we need the information to determine if public funds meant to provide security and ensure respect and protection of the rights to life, physical integrity, and liberty of Nigerians have been spent for this purpose. Our request is limited to details of visible, specific security measures and projects executed and does not include spending on intelligence operations.”
In a statement by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare the body expressed its concern on how the appropriation of public funds as security votes over the years seemed to serve high-ranking government officials at all levels—federal and states” rather than serving the citizens.
It, therefore, urged the governments to open up on the matter and provide information and documents as requested. T This it said will be one step in the right direction.
“Unless the information is urgently provided, Nigerians would continue to see the appropriation of public funds as security votes and the institutionalization of this cash in ‘Ghana Must Go bags’ practice as a tool for self-enrichment.”
“We would be grateful if the requested information is provided to us within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, the Registered Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal action under the Freedom of Information Act to compel you to comply with our request,” it added.