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Presidency keeps mum on suit against Buhari over missing N3.8bn health funds

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THE Presidency has kept mum over a report that N3.8 billion of public funds meant for the Federal Ministry of Health, teaching hospitals, medical centres and others were missing, as documented in the 2018 audited report by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation.

The ICIR contacted Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari Femi Adesina, but he did not respond to a message sent to him. Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the president Garba Shehu was also contacted and like Adesina, he also did not respond to a message sent to him. Both spokesmen also did not answer calls.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) had filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari over his failure to probe the allegation of the missing N3.8 billion.

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In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/433/2021 filed last week at the Federal High Court in Abuja, SERAP sought an order of mandamus directing and compelling President Buhari to investigate alleged missing N3.8billion health funds, and to promptly investigate the extent and patterns of widespread corruption in the Federal Ministry of Health, teaching hospitals, medical centres and NAFDAC.

The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Opeyemi Owolabi read in part; ‘’An order granting leave to the Applicant to apply for judicial review to enable the Applicant seek an order of mandamus directing and compelling the 1st Respondent to direct the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to investigate allegations.”

SERAP sought a court order to compel the Presidency to promptly investigate the extent and patterns of widespread corruption in the Federal Ministry of Health, Teaching Hospitals, Medical Centres and NAFDAC indicted in the 2018 Audit Report by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation;

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The anti-corruption agency likewise sought an order “granting leave to the applicant to apply for judicial review to enable the applicant seek an order of mandamus directing and compelling the 1st and 2nd respondents to take meaningful and effective measures to clean up an apparently entrenched system of corruption in the health sector.’’

Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

'Niyi works with The ICIR as an investigative reporter and fact-checker. You can shoot him an email via [email protected] You can as well follow him on Twitter via @niyi_oyedeji.

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