The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability
In a statement by its deputy director, Mr. Kolawole Oluware, SERAP commended the judgment, “we welcome the ground-breaking judgment by Justice Obiozor as a victory for transparency and accountability of public officials, electrical contractors and companies and their shareholders. It is an extremely important step toward tackling the impunity in the electricity sector, which has for many years forced ordinary Nigerians to stay in darkness, but still made to pay crazy electricity bills.”
“This judgment is good news for ordinary Nigerians who have continued to pay the price for corruption in the electricity sector, as they would finally get an explanation on why the country has remained in darkness despite huge investment in the power sector by the governments of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, former President Goodluck Jonathan, and the government of Muhammadu Buhari.
“The enforcement of the judgment could potentially reveal individuals, contractors, and companies allegedly responsible for squandering over N11 trillion meant to provide regular electricity supply under successive governments, lead to the prosecution of suspected perpetrators, and recovery of stolen public funds.”
“SERAP calls upon the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to demonstrate his oft-repeated commitment to the rule of law by immediately obeying and respecting the judgment of the Court.”
“SERAP has applied for the certified true copy of the judgment, which we will share widely once it’s obtained,”Oluwadare stated.
It would be recalled that SERAP had in February filed the FOI suit against the Federal Government and former Minister of Power Mr Babatunde Fashola. The former minister then responded, saying that: “the Ministry has searched for the requested information on details of alleged contractors and companies but we could not find it from our records.”
Mr Fashola subsequently sent SERAP the name of just one contractor–Pow Technologies Limited, an Abuja based company–through the Ministry’s letter with reference number FMP/LU/R2K/2016/T/40. The company was said to have been awarded a contract in 2014 but only supplied 13 of the 19 electricity maintenance equipment relays agreed. The government paid N79,404,892.66 to Pow Technologies Limited.