Pandora’s Box



No one anticipated this. When the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), a civil society organisation sought an order of court directing government to publish details of spending on the first tranche of N388 billion of the Paris and London Club refunds allegedly mismanaged by 35 states, the federal government said it could not make the disclosure because of a confidentiality clause it must respect.

However, knowing SERAP’s famous penchant for savaging organisations much larger than it, the last has definitely not been heard of this matter. And the CSO now has a lethal weapon in its arsenal in its quest to know the truth, which is growing public support.

And now the search for the Paris Club refunds’ windfall is opening up a Pandora’s Box of other financial processes involving the almighty Governors, who once famously went to court to force the federal government to share part of the revenue in the Excess Crude Account, which by the way the Senate is now calling for its scrapping.

As SERAP continues its search, some citizens are reminding the CSO to add other requests to its reliefs sought. They also want the governors to account for the huge monthly security vote which runs into billions of naira. They dug up the issue of the Ecological Fund which some governors were alleged to have ‘borrowed’; and also the deductions from the monthly federal allocations to the 774 local governments under their domains.

These interested parties are urging the CSO to speed up the process before some of the present set of governors ‘escape’ through the back doors into the hallowed chambers of the National Assembly. For now, the can of worms keeps emptying, and the question is, where will all these end?…huge puzzle

– Abimbola Akosile