By Abdulawahab Abdulah
AT least, 10 civil society organisations have vowed to drag the Federal Government to court if it fails to probe the former President Ibrahim Babangidaâ€™s involvement in the missing $12.4 billion oil revenue accrued to the government during the Gulf war
The groups are Socio-Economic Rights AccountabilityÂ Project, SERAP; Women Advocates and Documentation Centre, WARDC; Access to Justice, AJ; Committee for Defence of Human Rights, CDHR; Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC; Partnership for Justice, PFJ; Human and Environmental Development Agenda, HEDA; Nigeria Liberty Forum, NLF; Nigeria Voters Assembly, VOTAS; and Centre for the Rule of Law, CFR.
The organisations had recently signed and forwarded to the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, an original copy of the late Dr Pius Okigbo Panel Report, which indicted General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) over allegations of corruption and mismanagement of $12.4 billion accrued revenue to the national treasury.
Their action was sequel to a letter from the office of the AGF, requesting them to send original copy of the Pius Okigboâ€™s panel report, which indicted Babangida, to the ministry for it to probe allegations pressed against the former military leader.
In a chart with journalists, weekend, in Lagos,Â SERAP Executive Director, Mr. Tokunbo Mumuni,Â stressed the fact that the groups were bent in ensuring that the former military president did not contest the forthcoming presidential election, due to his antecedents as a military ruler in Nigeria.
Mumuni argued that they were persuaded to write the AGF to examine the Okigboâ€™s panel report and consider its weight in moving against Babangida not to contest the forthcoming presidential election. Though, Mumuni admitted that Babangida reserved the rights as a Nigerian to contest any elective post, but argued that there are many Nigerians who can perform better than him, hence he must answer some questions regarding his tenure while he held sway as the countryâ€™s leader.
He also sheds light on the moves by SERAP in conjunction with some bodies, including the Guild of Editors to make the National Assembly consider it wise to make theÂ socio economic rights of Nigerians justiceable and included in the planned amendment of the 1999 constitution.
He said without these rights, which will make a socio economic rights of Nigerians justifiable in court, they would continue to grumble in silence while the reckless leaders would continue to rob them their natural and constitutional rights to good living.