The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has 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 how over N11 trillion meant to provide regular electricity supply has been allegedly squandered by governments since 1999.”
A statement signed on March 19 by the SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, said: “anyone suspected to be responsible should face prosecution as appropriate, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, and any missing public funds should be traced and fully recovered.”
SERAP also urged the President to refer to the International Criminal Court, all unimplemented reports of corruption in the electricity sector gathering dust on the shelves, and to arrest and surrender those named in the reports to the court for prosecution.
This follows the collapse of the national grid, which SERAP says has plunged the country into total darkness as generation capacity is said to have dropped to 2,000 megawatts with about 14 power plants shutting down.
“Nigerians have for far too long been denied justice and the opportunity to get to the bottom of why they continue to pay the price for corruption in the electricity sector–staying in darkness, but still made to pay crazy electricity bills,” Oluwadare said.
According to SERAP, the staggering amounts of public funds alleged to have been stolen over the years in the electricity sector have had catastrophic effects on the lives of millions of Nigerians, akin to crimes against humanity against the Nigerian people.
The organisation, therefore, stressed that an investigation into the allegations of missing N11 trillion electricity funds, the prosecution of suspected perpetrators and recovering any missing public funds would end a culture of impunity and subsequently address the persistent collapse of the electricity grid.