Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), a widely-known anti-corruption coalition, has filed a Freedom Of Information request with the Taraba State Government asking for information about the state of health of Governor Danbaba Suntai, who has been obtaining treatment abroad since he was injured in an air crash last year.

Following the accident, the governor was reported to be brain-damaged, but was treated in Germany and the United States.

Specifically, CSNAC is asking for evidence of proof that Governor Suntai, who is said to be on his way back to Nigeria to resume his office, has fully recovered, including possible video recording of visits to him by  a delegation of the Peoples Democratic Party and/or a medical report certifying him well again.

CSNAC also requested details of the amount of money expended on his treatment so far.

In the request, signed by CSNAC chairman Olarewaju Suraju, the coalition referred to newspaper reports about the governor’s impending return to Nigeria at the weekend. 

“If this is true, then we wish to start by felicitating with the Government and people of Taraba State on the reported recovery and we consider this miraculous indeed giving the very severe head injuries he was reported to have suffered,” the letter said. “As a matter of fact, the report available in the public domain hitherto has been that the ailing governor has sustained irreparable damages to his mental faculty which may render him unfit to continue to serve his people as the head of government.”

It reminded the government of a popular saying that where timely and credible information is lacking, lies, rumours and conjectures fill the vacuum, noting that its failure so far to come out with facts and evidence about the true state of health of Governor Suntai, has left room for conjecture and speculation.

“We dare say, that such conjectures and speculations are not healthy for our polity, given the trauma this country underwent during the unfortunate political manipulations that prevailed in the final period of the sickness and eventual death of Late President Umaru Musa Yar Adua,” the petition said.

CSNAC is a coalition of over 150 anti- corruption organizations whose primary aim is to constructively combat corruption vigorously and to ensure the effective monitoring of the various anti-graft agencies in the fight against corruption and to enthrone transparency, accountability, probity, and total commitment in the fight to eradicate corruption in Nigeria.

Full text of the letter:

 

THE COMMISSIONER OF INFORMATION

TARABA STATE GOVERNMENT

TARABA STATE GOVERNMENT HOUSE

JALINGO,

TARABA STATE

 

Dear Sir;

 

REQUEST FOR OFFICIAL INFORMATION ON THE STATE OF HEALTH AND MEDICAL TREATMENT OF THE TARABA STATE GOVERNOR DANBABA DANFULANI SUNTAI

 

Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) is a coalition of over hundred and fifty Anti- corruption organizations whose primary aim is to constructively combat corruption vigorously and to ensure the effective monitoring of the various Anti-graft agencies in its activities in the fight against corruption and to enthrone transparency, accountability, probity, and total commitment in the fight to eradicate corruption in Nigeria.

 

We refer to reports today Thursday 22nd August 2013 in some major national dailies including ThisDay and The Nations Newspapers that his Excellency Mr. Danbaba Danfulani Suntai is set to return to Nigeria over the coming weekend after having been absent for 10 months of Medicare due to severe injuries he sustained in a ghastly plane crash on the October 25th, 2012.

 

If this is true, then we wish to start by felicitating with the Government and people of Taraba State on the reported recovery and we consider this miraculous indeed giving the very severe head injuries he was reported to have suffered. As a matter of fact, the report available in the public domain hitherto has been that the ailing governor has sustained irreparable damages to his mental faculty which may render him unfit to continue to serve his people as the head of government.

 

Honourable Commissioner sir, you would be aware of a popular saying that where timely and credible information is lacking, lies, rumours and conjectures fill the vacuum. We wish to note that the failure thus far of the Government of Taraba State to come out with facts and evidences to support same, about the true state of health of Mr. Governor, has left rooms for conjectures and speculations. We dare say, that such conjectures and speculations are not healthy for our polity, given the trauma this Country underwent during the unfortunate political manipulations that prevailed in the final period of the sickness and eventual death of Late President Umaru Musa Yar Adua.

 

There have been concerns expressed that we might be witnessing a repeat of history in the case of Governor Suntai and that while in truth, the man is no longer medically fit to resume his duties as governor, some people are bent on clinging to political relevance through the act of public deceit. Besides, there are also serious allegations that the Government of the State and some powerful individuals in politics might be fraudulently lining their pockets under the pretense of securing the best available medical treatment for the ailing governor. Humongous amount of money is rumored to have been expended on this venture in the last 10 months of the treatment. Whilst we do not place monetary value on the life and health of the ailing Governor or indeed that of any person at all, public funds must nonetheless be judiciously applied and properly accounted for.

 

To this extent and in a bid to uphold the values of transparency and accountability in governance and public life, we hereby request, by virtue of sec 2,3, and 4 of the Freedom Of Information(FOI) Act,  that the Taraba State Government make available to us and by extension the general public, the following;

 

  1. Evidence(s) to proof that Governor Danbaba Danfulani Suntai has fully recovered, and this may include video recording of visits to him by PDP delegation and or medical report certifying him well again.

 

  1.  Details of the amount of money expended on his treatment so far.

 

We would appreciate if this requested information is made available to us within one week from the receipt of this letter.

 

Thank you for your understanding and anticipated response.

 

 

Yours faithfully,

 

 

Olanrewaju Suraju

Chairman

 

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