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FG Bows to Court Order to Publish Names of Looters

The Federal Government, Wednesday, agreed it would publish the names of treasury looters as ordered by the Federal High court in Lagos today so Nigerians can see. Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, disclosed this to State House correspondents on Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council meeting.

According Malami, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government totally agrees with the ruling of the court and hence, will carry out the order as long as it does not amount to violation of the rules of the court. The Hon Justice Hadiza Rabiu Shagari-led Lagos Federal High Court had, in a ruling, ordered the Federal Government to “immediately release to Nigerians information about the names of high ranking public officials from whom public funds were recovered and the circumstances under which funds were recovered, as well as the exact amount of funds recovered from each public official.”

The judgement followed a Freedom of Information suit brought by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) against the Federal Government. In her judgment Justice Shagari had agreed with SERAP that “the Federal Government has a legally binding obligation to tell Nigerians the names of all suspected looters of the public treasury past and present.”

Joined as Defendants in the suit are the Minister of Information Alhaji Lai Muhammed and the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture. Justice Shagari also granted the following reliefs: A declaration that by virtue of the provisions of Section 4 (a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, the Defendants are under a binding legal obligation to provide the Plaintiff with up to date information relating to the following:

To widely disseminate including on a dedicated website information about the names of high ranking public officials from whom public funds were recovered since May 2015 The circumstances under which stolen public funds were returned.

 

 

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