SERAP Sues Buhari Over ‘Missing N3.8bn Health Funds

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a suit against President Muhammadu Buhari over his failure to probe allegations that N3.836billion of public funds meant for the Federal Ministry of Health, are missing, mismanaged, diverted or stolen as documented in the recently released 2018 audited report by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation.

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Other agencies of departments of the Federal Ministry of Health that were to benefit from the stolen fund included teaching hospitals, medical centres, and National Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

The suit is coming in the wake of the controversy over Buhari’s travel to London for a “routine” medical check-up at a time resident doctors are on strike over unpaid salaries, upward review of hazard allowances and COVID-19 care incentives, leaving millions of poor Nigerians without access to medical treatment.

Joined in the suit as respondents are Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation Abubakar Malami (SAN) and Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire.

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In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/433/2021 filed last week at the Federal High Court in Abuja, SERAP is seeking: “an order of mandamus directing and compelling President Buhari to investigate alleged missing N3.8bn health funds.”

It prayed the court for 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 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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It also asked the court for 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

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The group also wants government to investigate the extent and patterns of widespread corruption in the Federal Ministry of Health, teaching hospitals, medical centres and NAFDAC.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

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