Court orders Okowa govt to account for over N200bn education funds

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. 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 ordered the Delta State government to “disclose how the Okowa government spent over N7.28 billion received from UBEC between 2015 and 2017, and N213 billion received from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) in 2018, at an average of N17.8 billion monthly.”

SERAP’s suit followed the case of seven year-old Success Adegor, who was sent home because her parents could not pay the illegal school fee/levy of N900, and the poor-quality of her Okotie-Eboh Primary School 1. Miss Success had, in a viral video in March 2019 said, “No be say I no go pay, dem go flog, flog, flog, dem go tire.”

Justice Osiagor ordered the government to “disclose details of the primary schools that have benefited from the projects carried out on access to free and quality primary education in Delta State, and information on indirect costs, including uniforms, exercise books, and transport costs to students and their parents.”



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