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Publish details of alleged N1tr fraud in SIP, SERAP tells FG


Nigeria’s finance minister Kemi Adeosun PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to order the immediate publication of details of the alleged stealing of N1 trillion Social Investments Programme (SIP) fund.
It said the President should instruct the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami and Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun to do the needful and publish the alleged sleaze in the SIP.

The group said the sum should include the $321m of the late General Sani Abacha that was recently returned by Switzerland and was said to have been affected by the fraud.”It also urged Buhari to “instruct appropriate authorities to publish details of how his administration plans to spend and monitor the spending of the $85m returned by the United Kingdom from the $1.6 billion Malabu oil deal money.

This, it said, was to remove the risks of corruption or mismanagement of the fund.Special Adviser on SIP, Maryam Uwais, was said to have disclosed last week that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was invited to probe ‘massive fraud’ and other corrupt practices in the scheme in some states.
In a statement by its deputy director, Timothy Adewale, the group said while it welcome the disclosure of fraud and corruption in the SIP and the request for EFCC to probe the allegations, it was concerned that sufficient details about the
allegations have not been disclosed.

“Nigerians have the right to know more about the allegations, including the names of the states involved, and whether the recently returned $321m Abacha loot was affected by the reported fraud and corruption.

“It is important for the government to identify and remove the risks of corruption in the SIP, as fast as possible and let Nigerians know the exact steps the authorities are taking to protect public funds, including the returned Abacha loot in the implementation of the SIP. “Part of this could include naming and shaming the states and contractors involved, to serve as deterrent to others and to preserve the integrity of the SIP,” the statement reads.

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Abubakar Malami

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