LAGOS lawyer and human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN), yesterday gave indication of a legal action against government if the five aides of Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba State who were involved in plane crash with the governor are not flown abroad for medical treatment.
The aides were rescued alongside Suntai in the Cessna 208 aircraft that crashed on their way to Yola, Adamawa State.
While the governor was immediately flown to the National Hospital, Abuja and subsequently to Germany for treatment, his aides were left at the hospital in Yola and later taken to the National Hospital, Abuja.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN) has described the $50 million used by Governor Rotimi Amaechi to buy the Global 5000 Bombardier Jet as money wasted.
Speaking at a media roundtable on “Promotion of Ethics and Integrity in the Courts System and Improving Citizens’ Access to Justice: The Role of Lawyers” in Lagos, Falana said the treatment given to the governor’s aides runs foul of Article 3 of the African Charter, which guarantees equal access to life and treatment to all.
Falana, who gave three days to the government to fly the aides abroad for treatment, said he and other civil societies would be left with no option but to approach the court to enforce the African Charter.
According to him, the action of Suntai, by attending a pilot course while serving as a governor, is a dereliction of duty and constitutes an impeachable offence under Nigerian law.
He also described as irresponsibility on the path of a governor of one of the flood-ravaged states in the South-South to spend $50 million to acquire a jet meant to facilitate his law school programme in the United Kingdom at the expense of the flood ravaged people of his state.
Falana, who said there is enough law and statute to tackle corruption in the country, called on the National Assembly to give autonomy to the anti-graft agencies so that they no longer report to the government. He also said the boards of the agencies should be peopled by representatives of credible organisations in Nigeria.
Also yesterday, lawyer and human rights activist, Bamidele Aturu, said the crash involving Governor Suntai raises a number of questions that we must not allow our sympathies to overshadow.