The Central Bank of Nigeria and its Governor, Godwin Emefiele, have opposed a suit requesting them to provide financial implications of President Muhammadu Buhari’s treatment in London, United Kingdom.
Recall that President Muhammadu spent about 103 days in the United Kingdom last year treating an undisclosed ailment.
However, the CBN and Emefiele argued that it was not within their immediate responsibilities to provide such information on the treatment of the President or on what it cost the country to keep the presidential aircraft and crew for 103 days at the Stansted Airport in the United Kingdom while President Buhari’s medical treatment lasted.
In the suit, with the CBN, its governor and the Attorney General of the Federation as respondents, ASRADI sought a declaration that the respondents’ refusal to provide it with information sought through its letter of October 19, 2017 “amounts to a wrongful denial of information and is a flagrant violation of the provisions of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2011.”
It also sought an order compelling the respondents to furnish it with information sought in the letter of October 19, 2017, and a further order, mandating the CBN and its governor to pay the plaintiff N10m in damages “for the wilful refusal of the 1st and 2nd respondents to release information in respect of the applicant’s letter dated October 19, 2017.”
In a supporting affidavit, Oyinlola contended that it was within the responsibilities of the CBN and its governor to provide the requested information saying they “are responsible for all foreign currency transactions of the Nigerian government or transactions involving the Federal Government of Nigeria and foreign institutions concerning transfer of money outside the shores of Nigeria.”
Oyinlola further stated that in the interest of the Nigerian public, the court should grant his group’s prayers to compel the respondents to declare the requested information because ASRADI was daily inundated with demands from the public to investigate the amount of taxpayers’ money spent on treating the President in London and keeping a presidential aircraft there for 103 days.
Justice John Tsoho has adjourned till April 17 for the hearing of the main suit along with any objection filed by any of the respondents.