24 May 2016
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Finance Minister, is claiming that she was never served court process tied to allegation by former CBN Governor, Professor Charles Soludo that 30 trillion naira went missing during the last administration. The suit was instituted by the Socio-Economic Rights Accountability Project (SERAP) pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.
In a statement signed by the former Minister’s Media Adviser, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, it stated that she already instructed her lawyers to take actions to pull apart the judgement as it affects her. The statement includes also SERAP’s decision to anchor its stance on a baseless and no-evidence allegation by the former CBN Governor. It claimed that the allegations were only dubious moves and SERAP is being used as a tool for “politically motivated actors”.
However, the proceedings of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos still ordered the former Minister and the Federal Government to provide more information on how the alleged missing N30 trillion was spent. Based on information they have, these funds represents 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 brought by SERAP.
SERAP’s suit followed revelations by the former Governor of 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.”