There is prospect Nigerians keen on knowing the truth about alleged padding of the 2016 budget may soon have some answers, as the Federal High Court in Lagos has granted a bid by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) to seek an order of Mandamus to direct and compel the Federal Government to prosecute some principal officers of the National Assembly over allegations of padding and stealing of some N481bn from the 2016 budget.
The decision by Justice Mohammed Idris last Friday has now cleared the way for SERAP to advance its case against the Federal Government on the publication of the reports of investigation into the allegations of budget padding and prosecution of indicted officers of the National Assembly. The decision also grants permission to SERAP to seek an order to compel the Federal Government to “closely monitor and scrutinize the spending of N131 billion (accrued from increased oil bench mark) allocated for additional non-constituency projects expenditure, to remove the possibility of corruption.”
Justice Idris granted the order for leave following the hearing of an argument in court on exparte motion by SERAP counsel Mrs Joke Fekumo. The motion on notice is set for Friday 26 January 2018, for the hearing of argument on why the reports by anticorruption agencies on the investigation into the alleged budget padding should not be published and why indicted officers should not be prosecuted.