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Nigeria: Court Orders Buhari to Probe Lawmakers Over Padding and Stealing of N481bn

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A Federal High Court in Lagos Nigeria has ordered President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently instruct security and anti-corruption agencies to forward to him reports of their investigations into allegations of padding and stealing of some N481 billion from the 2016 budget by some principal officers of the National Assembly.

In a landmark judgement delivered by Justice Mohammed Idris the court also ordered President Buhari to direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to without delay commence prosecution of indicted lawmakers.

The court also ordered President Buhari to direct the publication of the report of investigations by security and anti-corruption bodies into the alleged padding of the 2016 budget.

In the suit brought against the President of Nigeria and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Justice Idris further held that President Buhari in the exercise of his executive powers has a duty to ensure compliance with the provisions of article 22 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Article 22 of the African Charter provides that, all peoples shall have the right to their economic, social and cultural development with due regard to their freedom, and that states shall have the duty, individually or collectively, to ensure the exercise of the right to development.

The court also granted an order directing Buhari to urgently halt alleged attempt by some principal officers of the National Assembly to steal N40 billion of the N100 billion allocated by his government as zonal intervention in the 2017 budget.

Buhari was also ordered “to closely monitor and scrutinise the spending of N131 billion accrued from increased oil bench mark allocated for additional non-constituency projects expenditure, to remove the possibility of corruption.

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