By Innocent Anaba
LAGOS – A civil society group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has sent a Freedom of Information, FoI, request to Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, urging him to “to provide documents on the systemic corruption in the subsidy system to enable our organisation petition the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC for suspected perpetrators of corruption in the system to be effectively brought to justice.”
SERAP in the petition by its Executive Director, Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni, said: “We welcome your (Sanusi’s) recent publicly expressed position that those involved in the fuel subsidy scam to the detriment of millions of Nigerians should be arrested and prosecuted by the appropriate authorities.
“This request is made to obtain the necessary documents for us to send a petition to the EFCC to achieve the objectives, which you (Sanusi) have articulated for many years, that is, to bring about the effective prosecution of suspected perpetrators of the subsidy scam.
“If the problems in the fuel subsidy system are not fully and urgently addressed and suspected perpetrators not prosecuted, this will continue to have a devastating effect on investment in the oil and gas sector while also discouraging the building of refineries, thus making Nigeria perpetual importer of petrol.
“While N250 billion was allocated for fuel subsidy in 2011, by the end of October 2011, over N1.3 trillion had been spent. We have information to the effect that the subsidy claim rose to N1.5 trillion by December 2011.
“Having found that no supplementary appropriation was submitted to the National Assembly by President Goodluck Jonathan, we would be grateful for information on who authorised the release of N1.26 trillion, which was paid by CBN under your management.
“We agree with you that this raises serious suspicion of corruption in the fuel subsidy system. We believe that this situation is a major contributory factor to the situation of extreme poverty in the country, which in itself is a violation of human dignity, inhibiting the full and effective enjoyment of human rights.”