A human rights advocacy group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, has called for the probe and prosecution of state governors over alleged stealing of security votes.
According to the group, there are widespread allegations about how some state governors have been stealing and mismanaging security votes allocated to their states since the return to democracy in 1999.
It said the stealing of security votes over the years is at the root of the current security challenges facing the nation.
In an open letter by its Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale, SERAP, therefore, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Attorney General of the Federation to, without delay, investigate the suspected governors, both past and serving.
SERAP said it wants complicit ex-governors to be immediately prosecuted, while complicit serving governors should be prosecuted at the end of their tenure.
The group urged Buhari to order the probe within seven days and publish the report as well as the names of such former and serving governors.
It said it would resort to a legal action against the President should he fail to direct the AGF to probe the alleged stealing of security votes.
SERAP said pursuing the case would ensure that public funds were used properly and that “mean state governors would be less likely to misuse or steal security votes.”
SERAP believed that the probe would ultimately improve the ability of state governments to promote, enhance and ensure the security and safety of all Nigerians in their states.
It said, “The lack of transparency and accountability in the spending of security votes is the real cause of many of the security challenges confronting Nigeria.
“State governments across the country are failing to ensure the safety and security of Nigerians and residents despite huge yearly allocations of security votes to governors. These funds are purportedly appropriated for state security.
“However, despite these huge expenditures on security, many state governors are failing to prevent kidnappings, cultism, assassinations and other unlawful killings, maiming of residents and destruction of property.
“SERAP is concerned about the growing allegations of mismanagement, waste, and corrupt practices in the spending of security votes by several state governors.
“Rather than using security votes to promote, enhance and ensure peace and security in their states, many governors have allegedly used and/or still using it as conduit to divert public funds for private gain.”