27 November, London – A court ruling this week that paves the way for civil society in Nigeria to challenge senior politicians over their secretive spending of billions of Nigerian Naira has been praised by Transparency International.
Transparency International and the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC) in Nigeria have previously called for the scrapping of the unaccountable and secretive “security vote” spending – one of the most durable forms of corruption in Nigeria—saying that they fail to provide real security for citizens.
The security votes issue was explored in a joint report by the groups in May 2018. Camouflaged Cash estimates that security votes in Nigeria total around $670 million annually – more than the annual budget of the Nigerian Army.
Responding to the court decision, Steve Francis OBE, Director of Transparency International’s Defence & Security Programme said:
“This is an important moment in the campaign for transparency in defence and security spending in Nigeria, as well as government accountability more generally. Civil society in Nigeria, including Transparency International’s colleagues in CISLAC, deserve praise for successfully challenging in the courts the government’s refusal to explain how billions of Nigerian Naira were spent over the last twenty years. We see this as another important step in bringing about more openness and accountability in how the country spends taxpayer money on its citizens’ security and defence.”
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