Anti-corruption group, Socio-Economic and Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), on Tuesday got court’s leave to file for a mandamus order against the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, over poor power supply in the country.
The mandamus order is to compel Fashola to account for about N900bn sunk into the privatisation of the electricity sector in Nigeria without any positive result to show for it.
The leave to seek mandamus order against Fashola was granted on Tuesday by Justice C.J. Aneke of the Federal High Court in Lagos.
The leave followed an ex parte application filed and argued by SERAP’s lawyer, Ms Bamisope Adeyanju.
The judge, after granting the leave, directed that Fashola should be put on notice while he adjourned the case till November 20.
SERAP’s Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale, said the court’s ruling had brightened the prospect that Nigerians would finally get an explanation on why the country remained in darkness despite huge investment in the power sector by the Federal Government.
SERAP seeks a mandamus order to compel Fashola “to account for the spending on the privatisation of the electricity sector and the exact amount of post-privatisation spending on generation companies, distribution companies and Transmission Company of Nigeria till date, and to explain if such spending came from budgetary allocations or other sources.”
SERAP wants Fashola to be compelled “to provide specific details on the privatisation of the electricity sector, the names of all the companies and individuals involved; and to publish widely, including on a dedicated website, any such information.”
The group said, “Most of the companies that won the bids had no prior experience in the power sector and little or no capacity at all to manage the sector.
“The privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria has yielded the country total darkness. The gains of privatisation have been lost through alleged corruption, manipulation of rules and disregard for extant laws and lack of transparency in the exercise.”