Court compels Delta govt to account for N7.8bn UBEC funds

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The Federal High Court in Lagos has granted an application compelling the Delta State government to open its books regarding spendings on basic education.

The said funds were a result of funding from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).

Social Responsibility and Accountability Project (SERAP) last week won round one in battle to compel Governor Okowa of Delta State, and UBEC to account for education funds in the state.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the High Court, Lagos last week granted the motion for leave as prayed.

Justice Aikawa ruled “Going through the Application, supported by a 13-para. affidavit, with exhibits, statements of facts, verifying affidavits and written address, I am satisfied that leave ought to be granted in this case, and I hereby grant the motion for leave as prayed.”

The suit number FHC/L/CS/803/2019 filed last year followed the failure by the governor, UBEC and SUBEB to explain how billions of naira of UBEC funds and from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee have been spent, and to disclose locations of primary school projects.

The order by Justice Aikawa has now cleared the way for SERAP to advance its case against the governor, UBEC, and SUBEB and to challenge the legality of their refusal to publish the information requested. The suit is adjourned to 14th January, 2021 for motion on notice.

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The suit, read in part: “Delta State government has received over N7.8 billion from UBEC. The government has also received funds from federal allocations to Delta State. The government accessed over N3 billion of UBEC funds between 2015 and 2016.

The government reportedly approved the release of N1.28 billion counterpart funds to enable it access UBEC funds for 2017. The government also received N213 billion from Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) in 2018, at an average of N17.8 billion monthly.

Yet, several of the around 1,124 primary schools across the State are in shambles, and with very poor teaching facilities. Tens of thousands of Nigerian children are being left behind in Delta state and their futures put in jeopardy.”

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