Falana’s Case on Public Hospitals: Justice Minister Ordered To Accept Court Processes

Femi Falana
Tayo Soyemi

The case filed by Femi Falana at the Federal High Court seeking to compel the Federal Government to equip public hospitals in Nigeria could not proceed to trial this morning due to the refusal of the Justice Minister to accept service of the processes in his Lagos office.

When the case came up for hearing before Justice Stephen Adah, Mr. Falana prayed the Court to issue an order for service of the processes on the Attorney-General of the Federation through his Lagos office pursuant to Order 5 Rule 7 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009.

In his short ruling Justice Adah stated that he agreed with Mr Falana that substituted service could be resorted to since it is a fundamental rights matter. The judge therefore ordered that all the processes in the case be served by the bailiff on the Federal Attorney-General through the Federal Ministry of Justice Annex in Broad Street, Lagos. The substantive case was adjourned to September 20, 2010 for hearing.

Earlier, Falana has said the Federal Government “failed to ensure that there are adequate medical and health facilities for all persons in the country; and to take the necessary measures to protect the health of the people and ensure that they receive medical attention when they are sick.”

In Suit Number FHC/IKJ/CS/M59/10 brought pursuant to Order 1 Rule 2 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009 as preserved by Section 315 of the 1999 Constitution, and the inherent jurisdiction of the Court, the Applicant also claimed that, “only few public officers are allowed to receive medical treatment at public expense in foreign hospitals whenever they are sick. The public hospitals and health centres patronized by the majority of Nigerians are neither equipped nor staffed.”

“I am highly disturbed to know that most Nigerian citizens have no access to adequate medical care and attention. In 1991,the military President, General Ibrahim Babangida was taken to a hospital in Paris, France for the treatment of radiculopathy at huge public expense. Chief Mrs. Stella Obasanjo, the wife of former President Olusegun Obasanjo was treated in a hospital in Spain where she lost her life in 2005. Mrs. Maryam Babangida, the wife of the former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida passed away in a hospital in the United States in December 2009. President Umaru Musa Yar’adua who assumed office in May 2007 was taken abroad for medical treatment on several occasions at huge public expense until he died in May, 2010. The regular treatment of President Yaradua in foreign hospitals seriously exposed Nigeria to ridicule before the international community,” the Applicant also said.

According to the Applicant, “Many other public officers are taken abroad for medical treatment at public expense from time to time. Top public officers and private citizens who can afford overseas medical attention now travel to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and India for medical check up and treatment. Millions of poor Nigerian citizens die of preventable diseases in the local hospitals because they cannot afford the exorbitant costs of medical treatment in foreign hospitals. Several foreign hospitals patronized by privileged Nigerians are manned by Nigerians doctors, pharmacists and nurses who left the country due to the neglect of the health sector by the Defendant.”

The Applicant also said argued that, “Contrary to its obligations under the law and in spite of abundant resources of the country the Federal Government has refused to equip public hospitals and medical centres located in Lagos and other the various parts of the country. Many countries that are less endowed than Nigeria have well equipped hospitals with qualified specialists many of whom are Nigerians. The 469 members of the National Assembly have just demanded for increase in their salaries to 47 million per House of Representatives member and N60 million per Senator per quarter. In the 2010 Appropriation Act the Defendant has budgeted N57 billion for the entertainment and N27 billion for traveling by members of the National Assembly. The Federal Government has just budgeted N6.6 billion for the celebration of the 50th Independence Anniversary Celebration on October 1, 2010. “

“Owing to the neglect of the health sector millions of Nigerians would have died but for the intervention of the Jimmy Carte Centre, the Bill Gates Foundation, UNDP etc which have expended billions of dollars on the eradication of guinea worm, polio and other preventable diseases. I have recently lost many close family members and friends including the Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi SAN due to lack of adequate medical care in Nigeria. If I am seriously sick I may lose my life as there are no adequate medical facilities in Lagos and other parts of the Federation, the Applicant added.

Mr Falana is seeking the following reliefs:

 

A. A DECLARATION that Nigerians are entitled to the best attainable state of physical and mental health guaranteed by Article 16(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

 

B. A DECLARATION that the failure or refusal to repair and equip public hospitals and medical centres in Nigeria constitutes a violation of the duty of the Defendant to protect the health of Nigerians and to ensure that they receive medical attention when they are sick as required by Article 16(2) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

 

C. A DECLARATION that the failure of the Respondent to save lives through the provision of adequate medical facilities is illegal and unconstitutional as it constitutes a threat to the Applicants fundamental right to life guaranteed by Section 33 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

 

D. A DECLARATION that the practice of having public officials treated at public expense in foreign hospitals is illegal as it violates the right of other Nigerians to equality before the law and equal right of access to the public property and services guaranteed by Articles 3 and 13 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

 

E. AN ORDER OF PERPETUAL INJUNCTION restraining the Defendant from taking any public officer to foreign hospitals for medical check up and/or treatment in any manner whatsoever and howsoever.

 

F. AN ORDER directing the Defendant to repair and equip Federal Government owned hospitals and medical centres to ensure that Nigerians receive adequate medical attention when they are sick forthwith.

 

 

 

 

Signed

Tayo Soyemi

Falana & Falana’s Chambers

4/8//2010

 

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Femi Falana Vs Federal Governmentt

I like to commend on the boldness and courage of Mr Femi Falana for highligthening the dereliction of duties of the Federal Govt of Nigeria on the right of the citizens entitlements for so many things not Health and welfare alone, Education, Road. Power, Water, Saftey & Police brutality,

I enjoin all Nigerians both home and in diaspora to support Femi's campaign to lobby the federal govt to wake up to his responsibilities.

God bless Femi for this enourmous task ahead. The truth is marching on.

LET SUPPORT THIS CAUSE

Dear Nigerian Lets support this man. he's fighting the cause of the average Nigerian. he can afford the best hospital in the world

HELLO NIGERIA

TEARS ARE ROLLING DOWN MY EYES AS I WRITE THIS,NOT BECAUSE I LOVE TO WEEP BUT BECAUSE I HAVE FOUND ANOTHER HERO LIKE THE LATE LEGAL GURU AND HUMAN RIGHTS ADDICT CRUSADER. BUT ONE QUESTION I WANT TO ASK NIGERIANS IS THIS, FOR HOW LONG SHOULD WE CONTINUE TO FOLD OUR HANDS AND ALLOW OUR TRUE LEADERS AND DEMOCRATS GET DEFEATED BY THIS BLOOD TASTY RULERS AND GREEDY POLITICIANS? LET US SUPPORT THEM .I BELIEVE IN A CASE LIKE THIS MILLIONS OF NIGERIANS ARE SUPPOSE TO WILLINGLY BESIEGE THE COURT ROOM DURING THE HEARING AND THIS WILL SHOW SOME SERIOUSNESS ON THE PART OF THE STAKEHOLDERS WHO ARE DEPRIVED DAILY OF THEIR INALIENABLE RIGHTS BY OUR DIRECTIONLESS POLITICAL CLASS.I WANT TO ENCOURAGE NIGERIANS TO GIVE OUR SELFLESS LEADERS THE COURAGE AND BOLDNESS BY MOBILIZING,SHOWING CONCERN AND SOLIDARITY BECAUSE THE STRUGGLE IS MAJORLY FOR OUR BENEFIT AND NOT BECAUSE THEY CANNOT AFFORD THESE SERVICES ABROAD.
ONE THING I AM SURE OF IS,THEIR DAYS ARE NUMBERED AND WE WILL HAVE NO OPTION BUT TO RISE AGAINST OUR OPPRESSORS !!SURELY IT WILL NOT CONTINUE FOR EVER!!!!

Femi Falana vs Federal Government of Nigeria

I congratulate Mr. Falana for this bold step to show our leaders in Nigeria that enough is enough.

We need another individual or group of people like him to do the same in other areas that affect common people because they fail to deliver what they claim we voted them to provide before they all get to where they are today.

The federal,state and local government administrations should be co-defenders.Those of us living abroad can not fit into the Nigeria society due to lack of most of these necesities.

Falana and the state of Public Hospitals

Well, Falana had said it all- Babangida, Iya-ngida, Yar'Adua, and the rest of them could easily take from the Public purse to treat whatever ailment that assails them. If the the medical care/services could be taken off the retinue of publicly-funded benefits accruing to all these people, I do strongly believe that we can see a quick improvement in the publicly-owned hospitals as regards their funding and supplying with modern equipments and drugs.

If Yar'Ardua and the host of shameless other public servants had been made to pay for all their medical-service-induced foreign trips from their own pockets-which in my conservative estimate must have cost Nigeria tens of thousands of millions of naira- their most pressingly first priority would be urgent reform to the medical care/services in Nigeria.

Nigerian rulers are extremely shameless, Yar'Ardua inclusive (may the great beneficent and merciful Allah grant his soul eternal peaceful rest). Come to think of it, as of the year 1962 the house of Saudi that created Saudi Arabia, that we know today, was still battling furiously with the fanatic mullahs of those days about introducing simple Western literacy and education to launch Saudi Arabia into the modern civilization highway. In fact, the literacy programme of the day, championed, among the few worldly wise citizens of the Saudi Arabia then, including the courageous and cunning wife of the then King Faisal, had to be conducted in absolute secrecy, or under one pretence or the other to avoid social chaos that the then fanatic Mullahs might brong upon the then young kingdom. We all know where Nigeria was in the year 1962 and beyond then (for example, the then Western Region Government had introduced free and compulsory basic education for all in the West, and though the North was still shy and doubtful about the non-Islamic based education, it was still eon years ahead of Saudi Arabia then, while Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" was already a loud testimony to the education standard of the youth of the East), and cannot by any stretch of imagination be placed on the same education pedestal with the Saudi Arabia. Fast forward to the 1990s and the 2000s, Nigerians are trooping to the House of Saudi kingdom to work as doctors, and a terrible spectre, a Nigerian president sojourning in Saudi Arabia to take medical treatment for kidney condition. This phenomenon was paralysingly shameful and confounding. All the millions spent spent to take Yar'Adua from Germany to Saudi Arabia could have been used to create a centre for excellence in Urology or Dialysis, which would have obviated the gratuitous wastage and political imbroglio that the Yar'Adua-Saudi gate created.

Nigerian rulers need to open their eyes. They need to shun selfishness and empathy-free attitude they govern Nigeria with. We, Nigerians, on the other hand, should be able to demand for what is ours as Femi Falana is courageously and selflessly doing for us all. It is a terrible shame that, while most Nigerian doctors are rated high and working and performing excellently well abroad, because most were forced out by the government induced policies that left them no option, Nigerian rulers are trooping out of the country to seek medical help from those very countries that have their very own Nigerian brothers and sisters medical professionals helping them to prop and take their national medical care/services into great and greater height.

It is time to act. Nigerians react. The rulers are to be our servants, not our bosses. Let democracy speak in its true voice and for one thing alone: the good and welfare of the people.

Femi Falana, Another Gani In The Making!

When the late Senior Advocate of the Masses passed away, I knew there are retinue of activist generals he has left behind and one of them is Femi Falana. I really hope all stakeholders will help the poor masses to get a favorable justice as the outcome of this case. 

I strongly believe all public officers ( both immediate and extended family members included) should be banned from foreign medical treatments.  Not even going abroad to deliver babies like Bauchi state first lady (yar'dua's daughter) did last year. ALL Nigerians are equal before the law except we no longer believe in the existence of  this entity called N I G E R I A.

Why cant we organise serious

Why cant we organise serious beating for those fools in the senate and national assembly

Enlightenment is part of the answer

Enlightenment is part of the answer but the real answer is PRAYER!!!  Nigeria leaders though educated, are not enlightened.  Their hearts have been hardened hence it's very very difficult for them to see and accept the gains therein in providing basic and necessary social amenities like good roads, well equipped hospitals, electricity, schools, water, etc.
As stated by 'otitokoro ezeoku gaskia', our leaders only think of themselves and of now, not of their future generations or extended friends and families. The eyes of their hearts have been blinded by the devil; their eyes are open but they cannot see beyond their nose.
Please let us always remember them in prayers; at least for their innocent future generations.

Federal attorney General

I believe strongly that it is in the interest of the Federal Attorney General to make sure this case goes smoothly without resorting to any form of technical delay. The reason I said this is that when finally all is said and done and attorney General becomes ordinary citizen in need of basic medical need, this case will help provide him with one. In the case he thinks this will be below him, I want to assure him that it may be his brother, sister, uncle, aunt, son, daughter, cousins, friend, in-laws, pastor, Imam, children's teacher or any one connected to him that this case will save. For the sake of yourself and all that are connected to you, please ensure the expedited proceeding of this case.

This landmark case should be

This landmark case should be supported by all well meaning Nigerians. The situation in our hospitals is really terrible and should are being wasted daily. It is time to take drastic action and the government needs to wake up from their state of irresponsibility.

Priorities should be given to basic requirements like health education housing etc in Nigeria. Unfortunately the money that should be spent on all these is frittered away by the the presidency and legislature

Fire on sir!

Fire on sir! may the good lord bless you. It is every Nigerian's right to have access to medical care. Even though not everybody pays tax, the oil revenue is enough to take care of this if the looting can stop.

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