CBN reveals why it cannot provide information on Buhari’s UK treatment

CBN reveals why it cannot provide information on Buhari’s UK treatment

- The CBN has opposed the suit filed by a group, requesting information on the amount spent on Buhari’s UK medical treatment

- The apex bank stated that the right person to provide such information is the president’s chief of staff, and subsequently urged the court to dismiss the suit

- The plaintiff is also seeking N10 million as damages from the CBN; and the matter has been adjourned till April 17 for further hearing

A suit requesting the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide information on the money spent on President Muhammadu Buhari’s treatment in London, United Kingdom, has been opposed by the institution and its governor, Godwin Emefiele, Punch reports.

The apex bank and its governor stated that it was not within their responsibilities to provide such information.

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The apex bank had been sued for the information, by the Incorporated Trustees of Advocacy for Societal Rights Advancement and Development Initiative (ASRADI), which stated that the bank had refused to honour its Freedom of Information request contained in its October 19, 2017 letter.

However, filing a counter affidavit, the CBN asked that the applicant’s request be rejected and the suit dismissed.

The bank also asked that an earlier ex parte order which granted leave to the applicant to apply for “a prerogative order of mandamus” compelling them to provide the information requested, be vacated.

According to the CBN, even though they had received ASRADI’s letter, it had been forwarded to the president’s chief of staff, whom they stated, was the right person to provide the information being sought.

The bank stated: “Upon the receipt of the applicant’s application for information, the bank (CBN) transferred the same application to the office of the Chief of Staff to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The particular information sought by the applicant related to the overseas medical expenses incurred on the president of Nigeria, General Muhammadu Buhari and the aircraft parking fees at the Stansted Airport in the UK."

In addition to seeking information about the amount released for the president’s treatment and the amount spent as parking fees for keeping the presidential aircraft and crew during the period of treatment, ASRADI had also sought a further order mandating the CBN and its governor to pay N10 million in damages “for the willful refusal of the 1st and 2nd respondents to release information in respect of the applicant’s letter dated October 19, 2017.”

The hearing on the case has been adjourned till April 17 by the presiding judge, John Tsoho.

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Meanwhile, previously reported that Nigerians continued to mount pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to disclose the amount of money spent on his medical treatment in London, despite his return back to the country.

Consequently, it was speculated that the president spent between £200 and £250 per hour for his medical services in the UK.

At the black market rate of N550 to £1, the unsubstantiated speculation indicated that the president might have spent nothing less that N137,500 per hour for his treatment.

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