Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a case at the Federal High Court, Abuja to order the Federal Government and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make public beneficiaries of relief cash payments and other palliatives during COVID-19 pandemic.
According to SERAP, the government and the CBN should be compelled to “publicly identify and name Nigerians who have so far benefited from any cash payments, cash transfers, food distribution and other reliefs and palliatives during the lockdown in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states because of COVID-19.”
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In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/657/2020 filed last week, SERAP is seeking: “an order for leave to apply for judicial review and an order of mandamus to compel Ms Sadiya Umar-Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disasters Management and Social Development, and Mr Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, to publish spending details of public funds and private sector donations to provide socio-economic benefits to the country’s poorest and most vulnerable people.”
SERAP is also seeking “an order to direct and compel Ms Umar-Farouq and Mr Emefiele to publish an up-to-date list of donations and names of those who have made payments as per their publicly announced donations; spending details of the N500 billion COVID-19 intervention fund, and the names of beneficiaries, and whether such beneficiaries include people living with disabilities (PWDs).”
The suit followed SERAP’s Freedom of Information (FoI) requests dated 4 April 2020, expressing concern that: “millions of the country’s poorest and most vulnerable people have not benefited from the announced palliatives, donations, reported cash payments, cash transfers and other reliefs.”
The suit was filed on behalf of SERAP by its counsel, Kolawole Oluwadare and Joke Fekumo.
No date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.
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