Former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has rebutted the Socio-Economic Rights Agenda (SERAP) and is set to take legal action, following the injunction given by Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos, asking her to provide information on the spending of an alleged missing N30 trillion in respect of an action by SERAP in pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.
Dr Okonjo-Iweala stated that she was never served with any court processes in relation to the said matter adding that she has not read the judgment and would therefore defer any comments on the matter.
A statement signed by the media adviser to the former minister, Paul Nwabuikwu, revealed that the case was instituted in February 2015, but was not served until July 2015 after Dr Okonjo-Iweala had already ceased to be the Minister of Finance.
The statement also noted that by the date the said papers were purportedly served, Dr Okonjo-Iweala was no longer a public officer and could therefore not be the subject of a request for production of any documents or information under the Freedom of information Act.
“The attention of Dr Okonjo-Iweala was never drawn to the matter in which she appears to have been sued personally. She therefore did not engage any lawyer to act for her in the matter.
“The decision of SERAP to anchor its case on a baseless and unsubstantiated allegation by former CBN governor, Professor Charles Soludo, that N30 trillion, about seven times the total annual budget during the Jonathan administration, is missing confirms SERAP’s dubious motives and its role as a tool for politically motivated actors.
“It is curious that the first time Dr Okonjo-Iweala is being made aware of a matter filed against her in court is in the media, reporting the delivery of judgment. She has instructed her lawyers to take steps to set aside the judgment as it affects her,” the statement read.