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The Federal Court of Justice in Ikoyi, Lagos, has granted the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) permission to seek its help to hold the Minister of Power, Labor and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) to account. Sector spending.

Hon. Judge CJ Aneke granted SERAP permission to seek a judicial review and mandamus order to force Fashola to act on "disregard for the privatization of the electricity sector and the exact amount of post-privatization spending on generation companies" (GENCOS), Distributors (DISCOS) and the Transfer Company of Nigeria (TCN) to date, and to explain whether such expenses stem from budget allocations or other sources. "

Judge Aneke issued the exemption order after a hearing in court to an ex-parte application of the SERAP lawyer, Ms. Bamisope Adeyanju. During the postponement of the matter until Tuesday, November 20, 2018, for the mention. The court also ruled that Fashola be notified.

In June, SERAP filed a lawsuit against Fashola in FHC / L / CS / 972/18 before the Federal Supreme Court seeking "a petition for judicial review and an order from mandamus and / or to oblige Mr. Fashola to provide specific privatization details the electricity sector, the names of all companies and individuals involved, and publish such information on its own website. "

The lawsuit followed SERAP's request for freedom of information of 7 May 2018 to Fashola and gave him 14 days to "provide information on the state of implementation of the 25-year national energy development plan and the code of ethics of the privatization process, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and members of the National Council on Privatization (NCP) to acquire shares in companies that are privatized have been deliberately flouted. "

The complaint read: "Most of the companies that won the tenders did not have previous experience in the energy sector and little or no capacity to manage the sector." The privatization of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) has brought the country total darkness The privatization gains were lost through alleged corruption, manipulation of rules and disregard of existing laws and lack of transparency in the exercise.

"The Goodluck Jonathan government has reportedly spent more than $ 400 billion on the electricity sector, while the current government has spent more than $ 500 billion on the sector despite privatization, and it is unclear whether these expenditures come from budgetary allocations and whether they are Loans to Generation Companies (GENCOS), Distributors (DISCOS) and Transmission Company of Nigeria.

"The publication of the requested information and its wide dissemination to the public would serve the public interest and provide insights into the public debate on ongoing efforts to prevent and combat a culture of mismanagement of public funds, corruption and impunity of the perpetrators.

"To underscore the seriousness of the situation a few years after the privatization of the energy sector, millions of Nigerian households, especially the socially and economically deprived, continue to complain about outrageous bills for unused electricity and poor power supply from distribution companies – millions of Nigerians continue to be exploited by the use of obviously illicit estimates of the DISCOs, and one wonders the nature of privatization when there has been no corresponding improvement in power for Nigerians. "

"Enforcing the right to truth would allow Nigerians to gain access to information essential to the fight against corruption and provide a form of redress to victims of corruption in the electricity sector." The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Affairs Rights indicated in its General Comment 3 that the privatization process should not be detrimental to the effective realization of all human rights, including access to regular electricity supply.

"SERAP has the right to request the disputed information on the basis of several provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2011. Through § 1 of the FoI Act, SERAP is entitled to request a request or a gain access to information, including information about post-privatization expenditure by the Federal Government and accounts of expenditures for private entities such as GENCOS and DISCOS. "

The suit looks for the following reliefs:

"A DECLARATION that the Respondent did not provide the complainant with any information on specific details of the privatization expenditure of the electricity sector, the exact amount of the post-privatization expenditure and the names of all the companies and persons involved, as well as any such expenses from budget allocations or other sources, is unlawful as it contradicts and contradicts the Respondent's obligations under the Freedom of Information Act of 2011.

"A STATEMENT that the Respondent's failure to provide the Applicant with information about the details of the expenses and the state of implementation of the National Energy Plan of twenty-five (25) years is unlawful as it complies with the Respondent's Freedom of Information obligations Act 2011.

"A STATEMENT that the Respondent did not clarify to the Complainant the degree of compliance with the Code of Ethics of the privatization process prohibiting the staff of the Public Enterprise Bureau (BPE) and the members of the National Council for Privatization (NCP) Undertakings that are privatized are unlawful as they conflict with the Respondent's obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2011.

"A MANDATE RULING that instructs and / or forces the Respondent to provide information to the complainant on specific details of privatization expenditures for the electricity sector, the exact amount of past post-privatization expenditure and the names of all companies and individuals such expenditure comes from budgetary allocations or other sources, and to publish such information on a dedicated website comprehensively.

"A MANDATE RULING that instructs and / or forces the Respondent to provide information to the Applicant about the details of the expenses and the state of implementation of the National Energy Development Plan of twenty-five (25) years and to publish them fully on its own website Information.

"A MANDATE RULING that instructs and / or forces the Respondent to clarify the level of compliance with the Code of Ethics of the privatization process, the employees of the Public Enterprise Bureau (BPE) and the members of the National Council for Privatization (NCP) on the purchase of Shares to privatized companies.

"The privatization of power plants has already led to major crises ranging from illiquidity, denial of burdens, measurement problems, corruption practices, gas shortages to powering stations, investor disinterest, lack of fresh capital after acquisition, tariff, consumer apathy "Hostilities abroad, and a lot of other related problems."

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