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SERAP backs EFCC's decision to probe Obasanjo's govt over $16bn power project

has given support to EFCC over its decision to probe President Buhari's predecessors over spending on power - EFCC was reported to have ...

has given support to EFCC over its decision to probe President Buhari's predecessors over spending on power - EFCC was reported to have said that it would soon begin probe into $16 billion power project scam under Obasanjo, Yar'Adua and Jonathan - The group said the probe would end impunity for corruption and encourage youth civic engagement in the anti-graft fight in the country

 The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has thrown its weight behind the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over its purported resolve to probe past governments' $16 billion power project. 

Channels TV reports that the commission said it is an opportunity for the anti-graft agency to show that the former heads of state and other high-ranking public officials were not immune from investigation and prosecution for allegations of grand corruption in Nigeria. 9jastarmedia.com gathered that the group said Nigerians had long been denied justice and the opportunity to get to the bottom of why they continue to pay the price for corruption in the power sector, adding that while staying in darkness, they were made to pay crazy electricity bills.

 “This probe is something which SERAP has consistently called for. Nigerians have for far too long been denied justice and the opportunity to get to the bottom of why they continue to pay the price for corruption in the electricity sector–staying in darkness, but still made to pay crazy electricity bills,” it said. It was learnt that the EFCC had begun the probe of the $16 billion power project of the administration of former president Olusegun Obasanjo. 

According to the group, while some put the exact cost of the project at $16 billion, others said it was $13.8 billion, saying that key contractors and about 18 top public officers allegedly involved in the power project scam during the Obasanjo administration and that those of former presidents Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan, may also be arrested. In a statement issued on Sunday, August 18, by the SERAP's deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the group said: 

“Investigating allegations of grand corruption and prosecuting former heads of state and other high-ranking officials where such allegations show relevant and sufficient admissible evidence would address the grave travesty that has for many years occurred in the power sector. 

“The EFCC should urgently invite anyone suspected to be involved for questioning. 
The agency should also expand the probe to cover the alleged squandering of a total of N11 trillion in the power sector between 1999 and 2015, and the unresolved case of the reported missing $12.4 billion oil windfall, allegedly spent between 1988 and 1993 by the government of former military dictator, Ibrahim Babangida.” 
It said that the EFCC has the full support of Nigerians in its efforts to hold high-ranking public officials to account for grand corruption, stressing that if consistently, fairly and diligently pursued, the probe would end impunity for corruption and encourage youth civic engagement in the anti-graft fight in the country. 

The statement read: “SERAP notes that former presidents have routinely faced corruption charges in countries like Iceland, Kyrgyzstan, Brazil, Montenegro, South Korea, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Slovakia, Peru, and Mauritius, and the probe by the EFCC would mean this list would grow even further to include Nigeria.” The group alleged that the Obasanjo’s administration spent $10 billion on NIPP with no results in terms of increase in power generation, saying that $13.278,937,409.94 was expended on the power sector in eight years while unfunded commitments amounted to $12 billion. “The federal government then budgeted a whopping N16 billion for the various reforms under Liyel Imoke (2003 to 2007) which went down the drains as it failed to generate the needed amount of electricity or meet the set goals. "Imoke was alleged to have personally collected the sum of $7.8 million for the execution of the contract for the construction of the Jos-Yola transmission line, which was never executed. There were documented/reported allegations of corruption against Imoke that fizzled-out shortly thereafter,” 

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9jastarMedia: SERAP backs EFCC's decision to probe Obasanjo's govt over $16bn power project
SERAP backs EFCC's decision to probe Obasanjo's govt over $16bn power project
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