I am not a public officer, Buhari tells court
The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Major General Muhammadu Buhari has told a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that he is not required to obtain the recommendation or referral of a medical board before he could proceed on foreign medical treatment, not being a Public Officer of the Government of the Federation to which the provision of section 46 of the National Health Act 2014 applies.
In a counter Affidavit filed on his behalf by the Federal Ministry of Justice, Abuja in opposition to the suit filed an Abuja based lawyer, Vincent Adodo, Buhari said that he is not a public officer of the Government of the Federation and therefore not bound to comply with section 46 of the National Health Act which provides that:
“Without prejudice to the right of any Nigerian to seek medical check-up, investigation or treatment anywhere outside Nigeria, no public officer of the Government of the Federation or any part thereof shall be sponsored for check -up, investigation or treatment abroad at public expense except in exceptional cases on the recommendation and referral by the medical board and which recommendation or referral shall be duly approved by the Minister or the commissioner as the case may be.”
In the Counter Affidavit dated 25th January 2023 deposed to by one Ballah Alli, a litigation officer in the Department of Civil Litigation and Public law, the deponent had stated that ..”the 1st Defendant is not within the class of persons that require recommendation or referral by a medical board before embarking on foreign trip.”
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The suit which is pending before Hon. Justice J.K. Omotosho is slated for hearing on Friday, the 3rd February 2023.