SERAP Wants Confiscated Buildings Used as Isolation Centres

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Federal Government to identify, publish and use confiscated buildings as isolation centres for COVID-19 patients.

SERAP made the call in a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, which was made available to newsmen in Lagos.

The letter, dated May 2, was signed by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Mr Kolawole Oluwadare.

It urged Buhari to instruct the attorney-general of the federation to identify and publish such assets.

READ ALSO: Zamfara Emir Dies of COVID-19 Symptoms While in Isolation

It said that using confiscated assets as isolation centres would provide an enabling environment for the treatment and care of patients and improve Nigeria’s ability to respond to COVID-19 as well as protect public health.

“While it is important to ramp up testing for COVID-19 to prevent the spread of the virus, asking Nigerians to donate their buildings as isolation centres will put them at greater risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19.

“Rather than begging Nigerians to donate their buildings as isolation centres, the authorities should identify, publish and use confiscated assets as isolation centres as a temporary measure.

“Using confiscated assets as isolation centres will be proportionate, necessary, and serve legitimate objectives: namely, to protect public health and public order,” it said.

According to SERAP,  the proposed measure will be lawful, effective and in the public interest.

“Using confiscated assets as proposed, will neither violate the accused’s right to property nor entail a duty to compensate.

“Our recommendations, apart from being compatible with Nigeria’s international anti-corruption obligations including the UN Convention against Corruption which has been ratified, will enhance the ability of the authorities to effectively and satisfactorily respond to COVID-19,” it said.

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