IGR: Court Grants CSO Permission to Sue UNIABUJA VC, DG SEC

0

Alex Enumah in Abuja

A Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday granted leave to a Civil Society Organization (CSO), the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), to commence legal action against the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Abuja over allegations bordering on fraud and non-remittance of Internally Generated Revenue ( IGR) to the purse of the federal government.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu granted the permission while ruling in an application for an order of mandamus against the VC.

The court also gave the centre the nod to institute another legal action against the director-general, Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) over alleged failure to remit certain percent of the commission’s IGR to the government.

The court compelled the respondents to grant to the applicant access to the details of documentation evidencing the remittance to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the sum of N603,446,911: 37 (Six hundred and three million, four hundred and forty-six thousand, nine hundred and eleven naira, thirty-seven kobo) being 25 percent of the IGR.

The application for an order of mandamus against the UniAbuja VC was brought pursuant to Order 34 Rule 3 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedures Rules 2019, Sections 20 and 21 of FOI Act.

The plaintiffs/applicant in the suit is praying for a declaration that denying the applicant access to the details of the documentation evidencing the remittance to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of N603,446,911.37 being 25 percent of the IGR, which was a total sum of N2,413,787,645.48 (Two billion four hundred and thirteen million, seven hundred and eighty-seven thousand, six hundred and forty-five naira, forty-eight kobo) realised in 2016 and 2017, and which failure to remit same by the respondent contravened the provision of Finance Circular No: BO/RVE/12235/259NII/201 of November 11, 2011, and the recommendation of the Auditor General for the Federation in page 196 of the Auditor General’s Annual Report on the Accounts of the Federation of Nigeria for the year 2017 without explanation, constitute an infringement of the applicant’s right guaranteed and protected by section 1 (1) of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2011.

In the suit against the SEC DG, the CSJ wants a declaration that denying the applicant access to the details of the documentation evidencing the remittance to the CRF the sum of N160,271,545.85 being the interests from investing the sum of N5,910,269,443.43 into the Nigerian Treasury Bills (NTBs) by the respondent and which was not remitted to the CRF as required by the Federal Treasury Circular No: TRY/A5&B5/2009 OAGF/CAD/OZGN.32 of June 19, 2009, and as contained in the recommendation of the Auditor General for the Federation in page 179 of the Auditor General’s Annual Report on the Accounts of the Federation of Nigeria for the year 2017 without explanation, constitutes an infringement of the applicant’s right guaranteed and protected by section 1 (1) of the FoI Act 2011.