Trouble For Former Delta Gov. Okowa as Court Orders Him to Account For Over N200bn Education Funds and Allocations

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The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, in a landmark judgment, has “ordered the disclosure of the spending details of over N200bn public funds collected by the government of former Delta State governor Ifeanyi Okowa from the Universal Basic Education Commission [UBEC] fund and allocations from the Federation Accounts.”

The court ordered the Delta State Governor Sheriff Oborevwori to “disclose details of budgetary allocations and actual spending by the Okowa government between 2015 and 2019, including specific projects carried out to improve primary education in Delta State, and the locations of such projects.”

The judgment was delivered by Honourable Justice Daniel Osiagor, following a Freedom of Information suit number: FHC/L/CS/803/2019, brought by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

In his judgment, Justice Osiagor held that, “SERAP has cognizable legal right to inquire and know the way and manner public institutions manage public funds. I must say, that every citizen has a duty to demand transparency and accountability in governance of public institutions.”

Justice Osiagor also stated that, “Why should a request for details of disbursement and spending of public funds between 2015-2019 by Delta State be a cause of litigation for four years? Public officials are fast developing a state of anomie and cold feet when confronted with request for audit report of public duties and budgets.”

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