The leadership of the National Assembly has been dragged before an Abuja high court by the anti-corruption advocacy group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), for their failure to release the reports of various corruption probes carried out by the National Assembly since the return to democracy in 1999.
The Deputy Director of the anti-corruption group, Kolawole Oludare, said in a statement on Sunday that the suit, filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja, followed the failure of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to honour its July Freedom of Information request.
Oludare noted that SERAP’s FoI request followed recent public hearings by the National Assembly on corruption allegations in ministries, departments and agencies, including the Niger Delta Development Commission, and Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund.
“Reports of several public hearings and corruption probes have remained secret, and the allegations unresolved,” he said.
SERAP is, in the suit, praying the court to issue “an order of mandamus to direct and compel Dr Lawal and Mr Gbajabiamila to send all reports of completed public hearings and corruption probes to appropriate anti-corruption agencies to consider if there is sufficient admissible evidence to pursue prosecution.”
SERAP is also seeking “an order for leave to apply for judicial review and an order of mandamus to direct and/or compel Dr Lawal and Mr Gbajabiamila to widely publish all reports of completed public hearings and corruption probes by the Senate and the House of Representatives, and to disclose the number and names of any indicted suspects since 1999.”
SERAP added that it believed that the National Assembly ought to have, over the years, been forwarding to anti-graft agencies the reports of its corruption probes that had resulted in indictments.