The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos in a landmark judgment has held that successive governments since the return of democracy in 1999 “breached the fundamental principles of transparency and accountability for failing to disclose details about the spending of recovered stolen public funds, including on a dedicated website.” The court then ordered the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to “ensure that his government, and the governments of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and former President Goodluck Jonathan account fully for all recovered loot.”
The judgment was delivered on Friday by Hon Justice M.B. Idris following a Freedom of Information suit no: FHC/IKJ/CS/248/2011brought by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP). The details ordered by the court to be disclosed include: information on the total amount of recovered stolen public assets by each government; the amount of recovered stolen public assets spent by each government as well as the objects of such spending and the projects on which such funds were spent. Justice Idris dismissed all the objections raised by the Federal Government and upheld SERAP’s arguments.