SERAP gives Buhari ultimatum to prosecute 103 high-profile corruption cases

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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to instruct Abubakar Malami, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, to prosecute high-profile corruption cases.

The organization said the high-profile cases include 103 files reportedly sent to Malami by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2017.

The body also demanded details of the whereabouts of 15 allegedly missing case files sent to Malami in 2019 by the defunct Special Presidential Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP).

In the letter by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP noted that failure to diligently and expeditiously prosecute high profile corruption cases amounts to a fundamental breach of constitutional and international obligations.

“The fact that these cases have been pending for several years suggests that your government has not carried out its public, constitutional and international obligations, including the obligations to show that no one is above the law as far as the fight against corruption is concerned.

“Public interest demands that high-profile corruption cases are concluded within a reasonable time so that those guilty are punished and the innocent are set free. The rule of law and the preservation of democracy also require that the authorities duly proceed in accordance with the law against every high-profile person suspected of grand corruption, irrespective of where he/she is placed in the political hierarchy.

“SERAP is seriously concerned about the apparent inertia by the authorities to diligently and expeditiously prosecute high-profile corruption cases. While many of these cases have been dragging before your assumption of office in May 2015, several of the cases have not satisfactorily progressed, contrary to Nigerians’ expectations.

“Speedily, diligently, effectively and fairly prosecuting high-profile corruption cases would demonstrate your government’s commitment to enhance probity in public life and willingness to enforce accountability in public life. The basic postulate of the concept of equality: ‘Be you ever so high, the law is above you’, should be your government’s approach to high profile corruption cases.”

SERAP gave the federal government 14 days to act.

The group threatened legal action if its demands are not met.

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