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Electricity: Serap sues Fashola for failing to name runaway contractors

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Anti-corruption group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, has urged the court to compel the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, to publish the names of contractors who allegedly collected money and disappeared without executing awarded electricity projects.

The suit was filed before the Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday.

SERAP’s Senior Legal Adviser, Bamisope Adeyanju, said in a statement on Sunday that the suit followed Fashola’s failure to honour the group’s request for the list of the allegedly defauting contractors.

SERAP had made the demand in January following a claim by former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar that some contractors, who were awarded electricity contracts, disappeared after being fully paid for the contracts.

“The money went down the drain. Up till now, we are not holding the contractors responsible. People have collected money upfront 100 per cent and have disappeared; and they have not done any work,” Atiku was quoted to have said during a programme on Channels TV.

SERAP, in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/105/19, sought “an order for leave to apply for judicial review and an order of mandamus directing and/or compelling Mr Fashola to provide specific details about the names and whereabouts of the contractors who collected public funds meant for electricity projects but disappeared with the money without executing any projects.”

While urging the court to grant the order, SERAP said, “By compelling Mr Fashola to name the contractors and their registration details, if any, Nigerians will be better able to hold them to account for allegedly absconding with public funds meant for electricity projects, thereby throwing the country into perpetual darkness and socio-economic stagnation as well as denying people their human rights.”

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