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A non-governmental organisation, the Incorporated Trustees of Matagu Foundation, has filed a suit against the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation,(AGF) Abubakar Malami, over an alleged violation of Bayelsa State citizens’ fundamental rights.

The suit with number FHC/ABJ/CS/1613/2019, seen by PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday, was filed by the plaintiff’s lawyer, Francis Obalim, on December 17.

The action is based on the group’s claims of massive diversion of funds by the Bayelsa State government.

Joined in the suit as the second defendant is the Accountant-General of the Federation; Ahmed Idris, Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (third) and the Attorney-General of Bayelsa State (fourth).

Mr Obalim in his suit affirmed that the plaintiff being a watchdog for the enforcement of human rights and prevention of corrupt practices wants an order of the court for the enforcement of the fundamental rights of Bayelsa people.

The plaintiff through their lawyer wants, “A declaration that every citizen of Bayelsa State is entitled to the recognized human right to an adequate standard of living, to healthcare, to socio and economic development; and the right to life and human security and dignity.

“A declaration that the diversion of the sum of 850 million Naira and or 40 million Naira and or N4 million and N3.5 million from Bayelsa State Government House is illegal and it violates Articles 16, 17, 22 and 24 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples in so far as it limits the rights of Bayelsa People to their common resources.”

They want ” An order directing the first to third defendants to stop any further release of funds to the current government of Bayelsa State to curtail any further loss, diversion or mismanagement of the resources of People of Bayelsa State

“An order directing the refund of all the diverted funds in tenfolds with accrued interest at the rate of 30% Interest of the Original Sum to the Bayelsa State Government coffers.

“An order directing the first and fourth defendants to prosecute the public officers who diverted the sum of N850 million Naira, N40 million, N4 million and N3.5 million from Bayelsa State Government House forthwith.

The matter is yet to be assigned to a judge.


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