The Save Nigeria Group (SNG) yesterday filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Ikeja, Lagos asking for a judicial interpretation of Sections 80 and 90 of the 1999 Constitution, which deal with appropriation and spending from the Federation Account.
Speaking at a press conference, the convener of the group, Pastor Tunde Bakare, said it was necessary to seek judicial pronouncement on the appropriation and spending from the Federation Account going by the recent revelation surrounding the fuel subsidy probe.
SNG described as double-speak, the recent position of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, that further investigations needed to be conducted into the subsidy scam before the Federal Government could commence the prosecution of persons indicted in the subsidy scam by members of the House of Representatives.
Bakare dismissed claims by the AGF that the government was yet to receive the report of the probe by the House as well as his argument that the probe of the House was mere fact-finding, which was insufficient for prosecution
Bakare said the group would not fold its arms and watch the theft of over a N1 trillion under the guise of subsidy payment to be swept under the carpet, saying if the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) could move to prosecute Herman Hembe and Azubogu Ifeanyi, over a paltry sum of N1.2 million they allegedly collected from the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) to embark on a trip without doing so, much more should the culprits of subsidy scam be prosecuted.
According to him, “what is the extent of the National Assembly’s oversight functions? Are they merely responsible for ‘fact-finding’ exercises? We raise this because we are aware that there have been many probes by the National Assembly whose reports have been dumped in the mortuary of probe reports.
“The immediate past House for instance, carried out the following probes, among others, with far-reaching recommendations: the power probe, which exposed $16 billion expenditure with no value added to the power sector; the probe of unspent funds, which revealed how N4.3 trillion was not remitted to the Federation Account by ministries and agencies of the Federal Government.
“Not one person was brought to book in the above cited cases, yet we are aware that the resolution of the National Assembly on the ‘doctrine of necessity’ was not treated as a fact-finding exercise and the Presidency did not wait for weeks to be served with the resolution before it took effect.”