In News by stephen abiodun on the 22nd, June, 2020

SERAP Sues Ministry Of Well being And NCDC Over Failure To Account For COVID-19 Cash

SERAP sues NCDC

Human Rights group, the Socio-Financial Rights and Accountability Challenge (SERAP),  has filed a lawsuit in opposition to Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director Normal, Nigeria Centre for Illness Management (NCDC) and Dr Osagie Ehanire, the Minister of Well being, over “their failure to account for the general public funds and different assets to this point spent and used to fight the unfold of COVID-19 in Nigeria.”

The swimsuit comes after SERAP made a Freedom of Data (FoI) request on 27 March 2020 to the Minister of Well being and the NCDC, expressing “concern that lack of transparency in the usage of the funds and assets to fight COVID-19 would result in diversion or mismanagement of funds and assets, unnecessarily price lives, and lead to severe harm to public well being within the nation.”

Based on the swimsuit, SERAP desires the Well being Ministry and the NCDC to disclose particulars obtained from the personal sector, state and federal governments, and in addition reveal how the funds have been used within the battle in opposition to the Covid-19 illness in Nigeria.

SERAP sues Ministry of Health and NCDC over over failure to account for Covid-19 money

SERAP sues Ministry of Health and NCDC over over failure to account for Covid-19 money

Publishing particulars of the lawsuit on it’s web site, SERAP with swimsuit quantity FHC/ABJ/CS/616/2020 filed final week on the Federal Excessive Court docket, Abuja, SERAP seeks:

1.“An order for depart to use for judicial evaluation and an order of mandamus to direct and compel the Minister of Well being and the NCDC to publish particulars of the funds and assets from federal and state governments, and the personal sector, in addition to particulars of how the funds and assets have to this point been spent and used to fight COVID-19.”

2.  “An order of mandamus to direct and compel the Federal Authorities to reveal data on the precise variety of assessments which were carried out for high-ranking public officers and politicians, the variety of any such high-ranking public officers and politicians now in self-isolation or quarantine, in addition to the precise variety of assessments which were carried out for the nation’s poorest and most weak folks.”

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Based on SERAP’s lawsuit: “Transparency in the usage of COVID-19 cash would assist to cut back the danger of corruption or opportunism, construct belief and have interaction Nigerians within the battle in opposition to coronavirus in addition to secure lives. Transparency and accountability are vital to implementing an efficient response to COVID-19 and slowing the unfold of the virus within the nation.”

“Nigerians have the precise to know the main points of spending of COVID-19 cash, as that is important to the battle in opposition to corruption, and can foster the event of democratic establishments and the rule of regulation in Nigeria.”

“Tens of millions of Nigerians proceed to lack entry to an improved water supply and to correct sanitation, thereby making them weak to COVID-19 and different sicknesses. But, the Ministry of Well being and the NCDC have failed and/or refused to reveal whether or not there’s any collaborative work with the Ministry of Water Assets to offer weak Nigerians with secure water, sanitation, and hygienic situations.” SERAP continued within the lawsuit by its legal professionals Kolawole Oluwadare, Atinuke Adejuyigbe, and Opeyemi Owolabi.

Based on SERAP, some politicians have been taking a number of assessments as NCDC has been prioritizing house testing the excessive and mighty whereas leaving essentially the most vulneable with out assessments..

Based on SERAP,  there have been stories of lack of transparency in use of Covid aid funds so the federal government has no justifiable cause to disclaim SERAP the data it’s requesting.

“The data SERAP is looking for to entry is permitted beneath the Freedom of Data Act 2011 and the African Constitution on Human and Peoples’ Rights to which Nigeria is a state occasion.”

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“The Federal Authorities has a authorized obligation to make sure that data on the spending of COVID-19 cash and assets is launched to SERAP and broadly revealed. It’s not an excessive amount of to ask for particulars of measures to guard well being employees and procedures put in place to make sure that COVID-19 cash shouldn’t be diverted, mismanaged or stolen.”

“The Federal Authorities has no legally justifiable cause for refusing to offer SERAP with the data requested, and due to this fact, this court docket must grant SERAP the order directing and compelling the Federal Authorities to publish particulars of spending of COVID-19 cash.”

“There are stories of lack of transparency in the usage of the funds and assets being mobilised to fight coronavirus, and that authorities are prioritising house testing of politicians, with some reportedly taking a number of assessments. Politicians participating in a number of assessments for coronavirus have in flip slowed the variety of assessments for the nation’s poorest and most weak folks.”

“The swimsuit is within the public curiosity, because it bothers on problems with nationwide curiosity, public welfare and curiosity, social justice, good governance, transparency and accountability. Obedience to the rule of regulation notably by those that publicly took oath of workplace to guard and protect the structure is a desideratum to good governance and respect for the rule of regulation.”

“Nigerians are entitled to know the way the commonwealth is being utilized, managed and administered in a democratic setting, as this positively influences the sensation of belonging within the society. This proper to know will little doubt assist in selling a clear democracy, good governance and public accountability.”

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Based on SERAP’s official Twitter account, the group  is looking for the next reliefs:

An order granting depart to the Applicant to use for judicial evaluation and search an order of mandamus directing and compelling the Respondents to offer and disclose the next data to the Applicant:

A. Particulars of actual funds and different assets allotted by the Nigerian authorities and personal sector donations to the Respondents to enhance Nigeria’s well being amenities to fight the unfold of COVID-19 in Nigeria;

B. Particulars of spending and deliberate spending of any such funds, different assets and donations to fight the unfold of COVID-19 in Nigeria;

C. Particulars of efforts made by the Second Respondent to make NCDC’s web site purposeful and accessible and to publish weekly spending on initiatives by the NCDC, together with on NCDC’s web site;

D. Particulars of processes and procedures put in place to make sure that the funds, different assets and donations allotted to fight COVID-19 are usually not diverted, mismanaged or stolen;

E. Particulars of measures to guard well being employees and to encourage the nation’s poorest and most weak folks to return ahead for testing and to escalate testing for this group;

F. The precise variety of assessments which were carried out for high-ranking public officers and politicians, the variety of any such high-ranking public officers and politicians now in self-isolation or quarantine, in addition to the precise variety of assessments which were carried out for the nation’s poorest and most weak folks

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