SERAP gets court approval to compel Fashola to name alleged corrupt contractors

SERAP gets court approval to compel Fashola to name alleged corrupt contractors

The Federal High Court in Lagos has given Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) approval in its suit seeking an order for leave to apply for an order of mandamus compelling the minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), to disclose the names of contractors, who allegedly collected money for electricity projects but failed to execute any.

Recall that in January, SERAP issued issued a freedom of information request and sued Fashola, following allegations by former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, that “contractors who were paid 100 percent upfront, for power projects, disappeared with public funds without carrying out any work".

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The Sun reports that in a ruling on Friday, March 29, by Justice Chuka Austine Obiozor, SERAP was given approval to compel Fashola to publish “the names of all contractors and companies engaged in the power sector since the return of democracy in 1999, to date, details of specific projects and the amounts paid for them".

Legit.ng gathers that the judge adjourned the matter to Thursday, April 11 for hearing of arguments on why the names of the alleged corrupt contractors should not be published, in suit number: FHC/L/CS/105/19.

Legit.ng previously reported that the minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the ministry could not get the names of people who were alleged to have looted funds meant for the power sector.

This was made known in the statement by Kolawole Oluwadare, the deputy director of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

Oluwadare said the minister could not get the names of contractors who were accused to have stolen funds in the ministry.

Fashola was quoted as saying: “We have searched the ministry’s record and the information you applied for is not held by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing (Power Sector)."

Fashola’s comment was said to have come as a response to the SERAP’s request that asked the minster to publish the names of fraudulent contractors between 1999 to 2018.

The request was informed by the allegation made by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.

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The ministry made the result of its search known through its director of legal services, Shoetan Adesola, who said the minister acknowledged the request and it had been resolved.

She said: “The Ministry has searched for the requested information on details of alleged contractors and companies that collected money for electricity projects and failed to execute any projects, but we could not find it from our records."

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Source: Legit.ng

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