SERAP gives Buhari ultimatum to prosecute 103 high-profile corruption cases

The fact that these cases have been pending for several years suggests that your government has not carried out its public, constitutional and international obligations, including the obligations to show that no one is above the law as far as the fight against corruption is concerned
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President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) called on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Federal Minister of Justice and Attorney General Abubakar Malami to prosecute high-profile cases of corruption.

The organization said the high-profile cases include 103 files that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) allegedly submitted to Malami in 2017.

The body also sought details of the whereabouts of the defunct Special Presidential Inquiry Panel on the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP) sent to Malami in 2019 for 15 allegedly missing case files.

SERAP says failure to prosecute high profile corruption cases amounts to a fundamental breach of constitutional and international obligations.

“The fact that these cases have been pending for several years suggests that your government has not carried out its public, constitutional and international obligations, including the obligations to show that no one is above the law as far as the fight against corruption is concerned.

“Public interest demands that high-profile corruption cases are concluded within a reasonable time so that those guilty are punished and the innocent are set free. The rule of law and the preservation of democracy also require that the authorities duly proceed in accordance with the law against every high-profile person suspected of grand corruption, irrespective of where he/she is placed in the political hierarchy.

“SERAP is seriously concerned about the apparent inertia by the authorities to diligently and expeditiously prosecute high-profile corruption cases. While many of these cases have been dragging before your assumption of office in May 2015, several of the cases have not satisfactorily progressed, contrary to Nigerians’ expectations.

“Speedily, diligently, effectively and fairly prosecuting high-profile corruption cases would demonstrate your government’s commitment to enhance probity in public life and willingness to enforce accountability in public life. The basic postulate of the concept of equality: ‘Be you ever so high, the law is above you’, should be your government’s approach to high profile corruption cases.”

SERAP has given the federal government 14 days to act or else has threatened legal action