SERAP Sues NNPC over Alleged Missing Oil Revenues

By Joke Kujenya

SOCIO-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has taken legal action against the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, filing a lawsuit over the alleged failure to account for and explain the whereabouts of significant oil revenues totaling $2.04billion and N164 billion.

The lawsuit, registered as suit number FHC/ABJ/549/2024, was lodged last Friday at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

SERAP seeks an order of mandamus to compel the NNPC to disclose the details of the missing funds, as highlighted in the 2020 audited report by the Auditor-General of the Federation.

According to the Auditor-Geneal’s report, the NNPC did not remit the stated sums into the Federation Account, suggesting possible diversion of funds; thus, SERAP demands transparency and accountability from the NNPC.

It is therefore urging the organization to hand over suspected perpetrators to investigative bodies like the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for further scrutiny and prosecution.

Furthermore, SERAP seeks to compel NNPC to ensure the full recovery and remittance of missing funds into the Federation Account, arguing that the disappearance of these revenues has aggravated Nigeria’s economic challenges and hindered citizens’ access to essential public services.

SERAP contends that the NNPC’s failure to account for the missing funds violates constitutional provisions, national anti-corruption laws, and Nigeria’s obligations under the United Nation’s Convention Against Corruption, and emphasized the detrimental impact of these mission revenues on the country’s economy and the well-being of her citizens.

The lawsuit also highlights specific instances in the Auditor-General’s report, including NNPC’s alleged failure to remit oil royalties and collected government revenues into the Federation Account, and stresses the importance of recovering these funds and holding accountable those responsible for their mismanagement.

Despite Nigeria’s significant oil wealth, SERAP notes that average hard-working citizens have seen minimal benefits due to widespread corruption and a culture of impunity, and argued that the NNPC is trusted with the legal and ethical obligations to manage public resources transparently and in accordance with constitutional and international standards.

No date has however been fixed for the hearing of the lawsuit, which underscores the ongoing efforts of SERAP’s efforts to seek accountability issues within Nigeria’s oil sector.

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