Finance minister and Cordinating Minister of the Economy the Administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has been ordered by a Federal High Court to provide information on the spending of the alleged missing N30 trillion.
The court order stated that the amount represented some accruable income to the Federal Government during the last four years of the Administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The judgment was delivered by Justice Ibrahim Buba following a Freedom of Information suit filed by a civil society group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).
The suit followed revelations by the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Charles Soludo, that at least N30 trillion “has either been stolen or unaccounted for, or grossly mismanaged over the last few years under the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s watch.”
Justice Buba who presided over the case at the Federal high Court declared that,
“Mrs Okonjo-Iweala and the Federal Government have no legally justifiable reason for refusing to provide SERAP with the information requested for.
“The Court has gone through the application and agrees that SERAP’s application has merits and the argument is not opposed. SERAP’s application is granted as prayed.”
Executive Director of SERAP, Adetokunbo Mumuni, responding to the judgement said,
“This judgment shows the important role that Nigerian courts can play in the efforts to promote transparency in government and combat corruption and the impunity of perpetrators.
“It also confirms that high-ranking government officials can no longer escape accountability for their action while in office.
“We urge Mrs Okonjo-Iweala to cooperate with the authorities in the efforts to ensure the full and effective enforcement of the judgment.”