President Bola Tinubu has been asked to investigate “allegations that a $3.4 billion loan obtained from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is missing, diverted, or unaccounted for.”
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), which issued the call in a statement on Sunday, specifically requests that the President direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, as well as appropriate anti-corruption agencies, to investigate the allegations immediately.
SERAP’s deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, stated that the request came in response to the 2020 annual audited report published last week by the Auditor-General of the Federation, which contained damaging disclosures such as the lack of a document showing the movement and spending of the IMF loan.
“Anyone suspected to be responsible should face prosecution as appropriate, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, and any missing IMF loan should be fully recovered and returned to the public treasury,” Oluwadare said.
According to the group, there is a legitimate public interest in ensuring justice and accountability for these serious allegations, adding that taking appropriate measures would end the impunity of perpetrators.
SERAP said, “Servicing IMF loan that is allegedly missing, diverted or unaccounted for is double jeopardy for Nigerians—they can neither see nor benefit from the projects for which the loan was approved; yet, they are made to pay both the loan and accrued interests.”
“Any failure to investigate these grave allegations, bring suspected perpetrators to justice and recover any missing IMF loan would have serious resource allocation and exacerbate the country’s debt burden.
“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall consider appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.”