The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to investigate the alleged hoarding of COVID-19 palliatives in warehouses in several states
SERAP regretted that COVID 19 palliatives which were meant to be distributed to the poorest and most vulnerable people to reduce the pains of the lockdown were cornered by government officials in the various states.
The organisation also asked the commission to ensure that reports of the investigation will be publish for Nigerians to know the truth behind the allegations
SERAP’s petition followed reports that some people have discovered and taken away COVID-19 palliatives stored in warehouses in several states.
The call which was contained in SERAP’s petition to ICPC chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, urged the commission to, “ensure the prompt and effective prosecution of anyone suspected to be responsible, if there is relevant and sufficient admissible evidence of hoarding and diversion of the palliatives.”
In the petition dated October 24, 2020, and signed by SERAP Deputy Director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “It would seem that Nigerian authorities asked people to stay at home as a protective lockdown measure but then failed to discharge a legal responsibility to timely, effectively, and transparently distribute COVID-19 palliatives to ease the hardship faced by the poorest and most vulnerable people.
“Unless promptly investigated, the allegations of hoarding and diversion would undermine public trust in any efforts to bring the spread of the pandemic under control, exacerbate the negative impact of the crisis, and deny those most in need access to basic necessities of life.”