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Group Drags Enugu State Government to Court Over Abandoned Health Project

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From Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – A human rights organization, operating under the banner of Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network (CRRAN), has filed a suit against Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi led administration of Enugu state over an abandoned health facility.

CRRAN filed the Suit at the Federal High Court Against Enugu State Government Over Refusal to Equip Diagnostics Center to Cater for health needs of citizens of the state.

African Examiner gathered that the multi-million naira edifice, which was located at old Trade Fair Complex, Enugu, was built by the immediate past governor of the state, Sullivan Chime, but could not equip it before bowing out office in 2015.

The huge structure is currently serving as an isolation centre for victims of the dreaded coronavirus pandemic in the state.

The group said, if equipped, the centre “would have helped a lot in respect of the health and medical needs of the people of the state and southeast.

The suit which is between Registered Trustees of ((CRRAN) and Enugu State Government, with   No: FHC/EN/ CS/47/2020, was filed on Wednesday at the Federal High Court Enugu.

According to the president of the organization, Olu Omotayo, “the suit brought under the Freedom of Information Act, prayed the Court for the following Orders:

“For an order of Mandamus directed at the Enugu state government to supply to the applicant records and documents in respect of the contract for the purchase of medical equipment for the commencement of operations of Diagnostics Center, Old Trade Fair Complex, Enugu.

 “A declaration  that the failure of the respondent to supply to the applicant records and documents in respect of the contract for the purchase of medical equipment for the commencement of operations of Diagnostics Center, Old Trade Fair Complex, Enugu is wrongful and contrary to the provisions of Clause 2, 4, & 8(5) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011.

The Organisation in the suit alleged that the contract for purchase of medical equipment for the commencement of operations of Diagnostics Center, Old Trade Fair Complex, Enugu has been awarded and public funds made available for that purpose but the funds diverted for personal use hence the reason for non-completion and the subsequent abandon of the project till date.

It further stated as follows in some paragraphs of the grounds upon which reliefs are sought in the suit: that the respondent has bluntly and persistently refused to supply the records and documents in respect of the project to the applicant after the said letter of demand was served on the office of the secretary to the Enugu State Government.

That the Project if completed would have solved various health needs of the citizens of Enugu State in particular and Southeast, Nigeria as a whole.

“It is on record that it was through court action in the Suit: Civil Liberties Organisation V. Commissioner for Health Enugu State, Suit No. FHC//EN/M/263/2011, that forced the respondent to even complete the construction of the Diagnostics Center, which was abandoned at the foundation level.

“That the respondent is not ready to equip the Diagnostics Center with necessary medical equipment so that the center can commence operations to start serving the citizens. 

The public interest litigation is brought to make the government accountable to the citizens and also know that it is the duty of the government to provide necessary medical facilities needed for the well being of the citizenry.

No date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.


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