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Court orders Delta government, UBEC to account for education funds

By Bertram Nwannekanma
16 November 2020   |   4:02 am
Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos has granted the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) reguest to compel Delta State, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and Universal Basic Education Commission...

Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos has granted the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) reguest to compel Delta State, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) to publish details of education funds collected for primary schools.

It also ordered the government and UBEC to provide details of the location of education projects carried out between 2015 and 2019 in the state.

The court ruled that going through the Application filed by SERAP, supported by a 13-paragraph affidavit, with supporting exhibits, statements setting out the facts, verifying affidavits and written address in support, I am satisfied that leave ought to be granted in this case, and I hereby grant the motion for leave as prayed.”

Justice Aikawa granted the order for leave following the hearing of an argument in court on exparte motion by SERAP counsel, Ms. Joke Fekumo.

The suit marked: FHC/L/CS/803/2019 filed last year followed failure of Governor Okowa, UBEC and the Delta State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to explain how billions of naira of UBEC funds from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) have been spent, and disclose the locations of primary school projects.

Justice Aikawa’s ruling has cleared the way for SERAP to pursue its case against Okowa, UBEC, and SUBEB and to challenge the legality of their refusal to publish the information requested. The suit is adjourned to January 14, 2021 for motion on notice.