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Government Girls’ School in Chibok, Borno State/Photo: AFP

By Andah John

A rights group, SERAP, has petitioned the EFCC over the alleged diversion of the N500m Safe School fund budgeted for the rebuilding of the Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State.

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This development is in consonance with an observation earlier raised by Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima.

Governor Shettima had on Tuesday said the fund inaugurated by former Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for rebuilding of the school had been diverted.

And in a statement on Wednesday, SERAP urged the EFCC to invite all those involved in the alleged diversion of the school fund for questioning, with a view to naming and shaming them.

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Government Girls’ School in Chibok, Borno State/Photo: STEFAN HEUNIS/AFP/Getty Images; Chibok school

The organisation believes the alleged diversion of the school fund was not only a breach of Nigeria’s commitment to global Safe School Declaration but also a revelation of the failure of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

Also, the alleged diversion, in its reckoning, violated the right of Chibok girls to education.

The statement in part

“The allegation that N500m has been lost to corruption has resulted in denying the girls access to education, and shows the failure of the former President Goodluck Jonathan government to live up to Nigeria’s commitments under the global Safe School Declaration.

“SERAP believes that the diversion of the funds will expose the school to attacks in the future. This is a fundamental breach of the country’s obligations including guarantees of non-repetition, which contribute to prevention and deterrence of future attacks.

“SERAP is seriously concerned that the school has remained in a state of disrepair since the abduction of the girls, and students have remained at home.

“SERAP is concerned that the alleged diversion of N500m meant for reconstruction of Government Girls School in Chibok has directly violated the right to education of the girls, as guaranteed under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.

“The diversion has undermined the obligation of the government to take steps to the maximum of its available resources to achieve the right to education.

“The alleged diversion also shows a serious breach of anti-corruption legislation including the EFCC Act, and Nigeria’s international obligations under the UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption both of which the country has ratified.”‎