Human rights activist and founder of One Love Foundation, Patrick Eholor has dragged Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki to Benin High Court over the alleged sales of the Benin Central Hospital located at the Oba Ovonramwen square formerly known as Ring road in the center of Benin city
Patrick Eholor had earlier dismissed the claims by the government officials that due to ageing and obsolete infrastructures at the Benin Central Hospital, the government considered relocating the hospital to join Stella Obasanjo hospital located in the interior of Sapele road area of Benin city.
Patrick Eholor said the plans of Governor Godwin Obaseki is to sell the public property that have been existence for public good most especially for the poor and low income earners for more than 100 years.
After the demolition of the Benin Central Hospital, the Edo State Commissioner of Health, Professor Obehi Akoria in a report with the state government owned Nigerian Observer Newspaper published yesterday said the Central Hospital was being repositioned for quality service delivery. Professor Obehi Akoria at a press conference in Benin City at the weekend said that the repositioning was informed by the decay in infrastructure in the over a century old hospital.
The State Commissioner for Information, Andrew Emwanta had in October 2021 said the hospital is being relocated to Stella Obasanjo hospital due to the facts the building of Benin Central Hospital is old and medical equipments are obsolete scheduled to be transformed by the state government.
Chief Patrick Eholor instituted a case against the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, Edo State Government, the Attorney-General of the state and Edo State Ministry of Justice, Edo State Commissioner for Health, Professor Obehi Akoria and the Edo State Ministry of Health.
Eholor, in an originating summons through his counsel, T. A. Akahomen as obtained from Jungle Journalist Media asked the Benin High Court to determine the following;
“Whether the Edo State Governor is not constitutionally mandated to maintain, protect and observe the provisions of the constitution in administration of Edo State Government;
“Whether the Central Hospital, Benin City, is not a property of Edo State.
“Whether Edo State Government in dealing with or making policies affecting the Central Hospital, Benin City is not required to strictly comply with the provision of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
“Whether government can unilaterally alter, relocate or deal with the Central Hospital, Benin City without first of all complying with the constitutional provision relating in determination of the general direction policies of the government on the Central Hospital, Benin City.
“Whether the planned relocation or alteration of the Central Hospital, Benin City is not an issue of concern of all the people of the state government for which the stand of the Edo State House of Assembly is required to critically examine the issue before any implementation.
Eholor also sought the following reliefs from the court:
A declaration that the Edo State Governor lacks the power to solely determine the alteration, conversion, relocation or deal with the Central Hospital, Benin City in any manner inconsistent with the law and tenets of democracy.
An Order of injunction restraining the government and all its agents from further demolishing or converting or relocating or dealing with the Hospital or using the Hospital and its premises either for a modern motor park, museum or for any other purpose other than the hospital.
AND for such further other (s) as this honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.
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