SERAP to Buhari: Probe Governors’ spending of security votes
President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to investigate allegations of misappropriation of security votes by some state governors in the country.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP) in an open letter sent to the president on the 6th of July 2016 said the lack of transparency and accountability in the spending of security votes is the real cause of many of the security challenges confronting Nigeria.
SERAP through its deputy director Timothy Adewale wants the president to direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, SAN, and/or appropriate anti-corruption agencies to without delay investigate widespread allegations of mismanagement and corruption in the spending of security votes by several state governors in Nigeria since the return of democracy in 1999.
“Pursuing this matter would ensure that public funds are used properly, and mean state governors would be less likely to misuse or steal security votes, and ultimately improve the ability of state governments to promote, enhance and ensure the security and safety of all Nigerians in their states,” the organisation said.
It said many state governments do not include security vote expenditures in their appropriation laws, as they prefer to apply extra-budgetary measures in the allocation of such funds. This according to SERAP ensures that the public is kept out of the loop on the bogus and suspicious expenditure.
“SERAP is concerned that majority of states do not disclose how much funds are allocated and expended as security votes by governors. Referring the allegations of mismanagement and corruption in the spending of security votes by several states would help to remove the secrecy and lack of accountability associated with security votes, improve the level of security in several states and contribute to good governance in the country,” it stated in the letter.