Human and Environmental Development Agenda [HEDA Resource Centre], has threatened to drag to court and to infamy the Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) over a N22 billion largesse it illegally disbursed to selected stockbrokers on behalf of the Federal Government.
In a letter to the Managing Director of AMCON, Mustapha Chike Obi, HEDA chairman Olarenwaju Siraju drew attention to a June 1 story in Premium Times captioned, “Civil Society Groups Condemn AMCON, Nigerian Government over secret N22billion Naira largesse to stockbroker”.
HEDA pointed out that while AMCON undertook the distribution of the “N22 billion forbearance package to 84 of Nigeria’s 200 stockbrokers,” the company said it had no intention of identifying the beneficiaries because doing so “may impact negatively” on Nigeria’s recovering stock exchange.
“We believe that there is no basis for such reasoning in laws of Nigeria and financial operations of the country,” HEDA warned. “Vertical accountability in democratic governance is not only crucial for democratic sustainability but also for fiscal responsibilities. The public should be able to hold to account Government agencies on how public funds are spent. To do this, people need information about what decisions the government is taking and their rationale. It is therefore unethical for the government not to reveal the beneficiaries of this fund, as they have moral, legal and constitutional obligation to do so.”
It therefore requested a list of the beneficiaries of the N22billion grant within seven days of the receipt of its request dated June 3, 2013, under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, or face legal and political consequences.
HEDA is a Non-Governmental Organization [NGO] whose mandate is to promote, protect and defend universally recognized human rights and environmental justice in Nigeria and Africa, in accordance with international standards. HEDA Resource Centre envisions a society whose principles are based on equity, accountability and social justice.