Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court in Abuja has ruled that information about the amount of taxpayer fund spent on President Buhari’s medical trip to the United Kingdom last year, cannot be released under the Freedom of Information Act without the President’s consent.
Delivering judgment in a suit filed by a civil society group, Advocacy for Societal Rights Advancement and Development Initiative today June 5th, Justice Tsoho held that the information sought related to personal information of an elected person like Buhari and which was exempted by Section 14(1)(b) of the FoI Act, 2011. The presiding judge also ruled that the Central Bank of Nigeria and its Governor, Godwin Emefiele, could not be held liable for not disclosing the information, having transferred the group’s October 19, 2017 request to the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President.
President spent 103 days in London receiving treatment for an undisclosed ailment in 2017.
Alleging that President Buhari’s overseas medical expenses were paid from the Nigerian treasury, a civil society group, Advocacy for Societal Rights Advancement and Development Initiative, had written a letter dated October 19, 2017 to the CBN requesting on the strength of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, the details of the spending.