Court denies Maina’s request for medical treatment
A petition filed by Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Force (PRTT), over his alleged ill health has been dismissed by a federal high court.
Maina, who was sentenced to eight years in prison after being found guilty of money laundering, had, in a petition marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1729/2022, dated and filed September 27, asking the court an interim order directing Rauf Aregbesola, Home Secretary, and Haliru Nababa, Comptroller General of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), to take him immediately to a reputable hospital for treatment.
The minister who responded to the request accused the former PRTT boss of having pretended to be ill to help him escape from prison.
Ruling on the case on Wednesday, November 16, Judge Inyang Ekwo ruled that Maina’s request was a “ruse” intended to help him escape from prison.
“In my opinion, this app is a ruse.
“This is an attempt to downplay the essence of the criminal conviction and help the plaintiff (Maina) live above the law.
“I find that the claim is unfounded and I issue an order dismissing.”
Judge Ekwo, who also noted that the defendants had presented sufficient evidence in court to show that the plaintiff (Maina) had received proper medical attention.
They include evidence showing that Maina was taken to the Department of Cardiology, Orthopedics and Otolaryngology (ENT) at Abuja University Hospital in Gwagwalada 23 times.
Ekwo added that while prisoners have the right to receive medical care, they do not have the right to demand ransom from the state on such a request.
The judge said;
“Bringing a prisoner to the hospital 23 times is proof of care and attention from the prison authorities.
“The Applicant’s allegation that the Defendants’ refusal to take him to a reputable and recognized hospital for medical care or treatment cannot be substantiated in the circumstances of the case.
“I categorically declare that a teaching hospital in Nigeria is a reputable and recognized hospital.
“This request, in my view, is clear evidence that the petitioner has not yet undergone the degree of reformation which his conviction and prison sentence are intended to achieve.
“From the evidence before me, it is overwhelmingly clear that the petitioner is not just seeking medical treatment, but a lenient lifestyle while incarcerated.
“He wants to be treated as a privileged person with absolute rights and privileges.
“Either the applicant does not understand the limits of a prison life, or he pretends not to.
“The court will not interfere with the actions and decisions of the guardianship authorities once it has been shown that they acted within the limits of the law governing the exercise of their functions.”