The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit against the government of Nigeria over oil theft in the country.
According to the suit, President Muhammadu Buhari is being sued over ‘the failure to probe the operations of illegal oil pipelines between 2001 and 2022, to name and prosecute those suspected to be involved, and to recover proceeds of crime’.
The suit was filed by SERAP, Eric Dooh (who is suing for himself as a leader of the Goi Community in Gokana local government area (LGA) of Rivers State, and on behalf of the Goi Community), and 15 other concerned Nigerians.
The suit No ECW/CCJ/APP/53/22 was filed last Friday before the ECOWAS Court of Justice in Abuja.
The suit comes after recent reports of the discovery of at least 58 illegal oil pipelines used to steal the country’s oil wealth.
The country’s crude has reportedly been stolen through the illicit pipeline connected to the trunk line via an abandoned pipeline and linked to a location in the high sea, where they load crude oil into vessels and sell overseas.
According to recent reports, Nigeria lost N898.93 billion to crude oil losses and repairs of vandalised pipelines between January and September 2021.
The plaintiffs are seeking: ‘an order directing and compelling the Buhari government to immediately probe the reports of operations of illegal pipelines and oil theft, name and prosecute suspected perpetrators’.
The plaintiffs are also seeking: ‘an order directing and compelling the Buhari government to fully recover any proceeds of crime, and to respect, protect, and fulfil the human rights of the people of Niger Delta that have continued to suffer the effects of oil theft by non-state actors’.
Photo source: Paul Kagame