- A human rights advocate group has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the federal government to prosecute governors for stealing their states' security votes
- SERAP said the alleged crime by the governors is the root cause of the incessant killings across states
- The group also gave the president seven days to begin investigation and publish names of complicit governors
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), on Wednesday, July 11, called on the federal government to begin probe and prosecution of state governors over alleged stealing of security votes.
The human rights advocacy group alleged that state governors have been stealing and mismanaging security votes allocated to their states since the return of democracy in 1999.
SERAP also said that the stealing of the funds is the major cause of ongoing insecurity across states in Nigeria.
The group in an open letter to President Muhamamdu Buhari, the group urged the president to direct the attorney general of the federation to begin investigations on both past and serving governors.
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The letter which was signed by SERAP's deputy director, Timothy Adewale, said complicit ex-governors should be immediately prosecuted, while complicit serving governors should be prosecuted at the end of their tenure.
The letter said:“The lack of transparency and accountability in the spending of security votes is the real cause of many of the security challenges confronting Nigeria.
“State governments across the country are failing to ensure the safety and security of Nigerians and residents despite huge yearly allocations of security votes to governors. These funds are purportedly appropriated for state security.
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“However, despite these huge expenditures on security, many state governors are failing to prevent kidnappings, cultism, assassinations and other unlawful killings, maiming of residents and destruction of property.
“SERAP is concerned about the growing allegations of mismanagement, waste, and corrupt practices in the spending of security votes by several state governors.
“Rather than using security votes to promote, enhance and ensure peace and security in their states, many governors have allegedly used and/or still using it as conduit to divert public funds for private gain," it said.
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Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that had urged the federal government to recover the more than N40 billion so far received by ex-governors currently serving as senators and ministers.
The group said the politicians were already enjoying pensions and other privileges and ought not to receive further emoluments from the federal government.
SERAP said that it had dispatched a letter to the Attorney-General of the Federation and minister of justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, to initiate steps toward the recovery of the funds.
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