SERAP Drags House Of Reps To UN Over Budget Padding

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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP has sent an urgent appeal to Professor Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights urging him to “use your good offices and position to urgently request the leadership of the House of Representatives of Nigeria to explain the alleged deliberate padding of the 2016 budget with N481 billion, removal of critical projects and replacement of such projects with constituency projects, which have not only undermined the fight against corruption in the country but also exacerbated extreme poverty and violations of internationally recognized human rights.”

The petition dated 27 July 2016 and signed by SERAP executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni states that, “SERAP considers the alleged budget padding, diversion of public funds and abuse of office by the leadership of the House of Representatives as amounting to a deliberate retrogressive action, which cannot be justified by reference to the totality of internationally recognized human rights, and in the context of the obligation to fully use the maximum available resources to fulfil and ensure the enjoyment of those rights.”

The petition copied to Mr Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; the Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, also states that, “We are concerned that the alleged corrupt budget process in the House of Representatives in the context of an economy already weakened by years of large scale corruption will jeopardise sustainable development and hurt ordinary Nigerians who rely on the government to provide basic necessities of life such as water, good roads and electricity.”

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