Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria, has tasked the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, to publish the detailed report of the investigation conducted on the recent deaths in Kano within the next seven days.
The Minister had disclosed that a special medical team had been deployed to investigate the unexplained multiple deaths in the state.
He disclosed this during a briefing on COVID-19 by the presidential task force in Abuja on April 22, 2020.
Falana, in a letter addressed to Minister Ehanire on behalf of the Alliance on Surviving Covid-19 Action Programme and Beyond of which he is interim chairman, stated that the situation which has overwhelmed the state government, requires that the Federal Government should step in.
The letter read:
“During a press briefing held at Abuja a week ago, you did announce that the Federal Ministry of Health, the Kano State Chief Epidemiologist, Officials of the Kano Public Health Department and those of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had commenced investigation into the strange deaths and mass burials currently going on in Kano State.”
“However, we are disturbed to note that the burials have since continued without any official information on the cause of the strange deaths.
“The people of Kano State and Nigerians in general are worried over the worsening health crisis as it may spread to other parts of Kano State not yet affected as well as other parts of the country if not urgently addressed.
“But since the Kano State Government is completely overwhelmed we hereby call on the Federal Government to take over the management of the crisis without any further delay.
“In addition, we are compelled to request for a certified true copy of the report of the joint investigation conducted by the Federal and Kano State Ministries of Health into the strange deaths and mass burials taking place in Kano State.
“The report should include the nature and cause of the deaths, the number of casualties and patients currently undergoing treatment in hospitals as well as an outline of the measures being put in place by the Federal Government to stop the strange deaths involving mass burials.”
Falana said that the demands contained in the letter is brought pursuant to provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, which the Minister is mandated to publish the report “within seven days of the receipt of this letter”.
“Take notice that if you fail to accede to our request we shall not hesitate to invoke the relevant provisions of the law to compel official disclosure of the findings of the joint team constituted to investigate the cause of the strange deaths and mass burials in Kano State.”