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Covid 19: Order FG, CBN To Name Beneficiaries Of Cash Payments, Donations, SERAP Tells Court

Covid 19: Order FG, CBN To Name Beneficiaries Of Cash Payments, Donations, SERAP Tells Court

A Lagos-based human rights group, So­cio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has filed a lawsuit asking the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, to order the Federal Government of Nigeria and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to publicly iden­tify and name some Nigerians who have so far benefited from any cash payments, cash trans­fers, food distribution and other reliefs and palliatives during the lockdown in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states because of COVID-19.

The organization, in Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/657/2020 filed last week, is seeking: “An order for leave to apply for ju­dicial review and an order of mandamus to compel Sadia Umar-Farouk, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disas­ters Management and Social Development and Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, to publish spending details of public funds and private sector donations to provide socio-eco­nomic benefits to the country’s poorest and most vulnerable people.”

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SERAP is also seeking “an order to direct and compel Umar-Farouk and Emefiele to publish up-to-dated list of donations and names of those who have made payments as per their publicly announced donations, spending details of the N500 billion COVID-19 intervention funds and the names of beneficiaries and whether such beneficiaries include people living with dis­abilities (PWDs).”

The suit came consequent upon SERAP’s Freedom of Information (FoI) request dat­ed April 4, 2020, expressing concern that: “Millions of the country’s poorest and most vulnerable people have not benefited from the announced palliatives, donations, reported cash payments, cash transfers and other reliefs.”
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SERAP is also seeking: “A declaration that the failure of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, and the CBN governor to provide SERAP with the requested information on spending de­tails of public money and pri­vate donations and to publish names of beneficiaries amount to a fundamental violation of the FoI Act and the African Charter on Human and Peo­ples’ Rights.”

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