A rights group, International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law on Wednesday, berated the Anambra State government for claiming to have spent N1bn on procurement of personal preventive equipment for coronavirus.
In a statement by its Board of Trustees Chairman, Emeka Umeagbalasi, the group described the claim as a blatant lie.
It said the claim had confirmed the group’s published prediction that the COVID-19 episode would turn out to be a conduit through which certain people would amass wealth for themselves to the detriment of the suffering masses.
The statement read in part, “It is categorically clear that the N1bn claimed by the Obiano-led government to have been spent on procurement of coronavirus prevention equipment was only spent in the moon.
“Intersociety had earlier issued a statement warning that coronavirus eruption in Nigeria or any part thereof was likely to become another opportunity for official criminal enrichment and state sadism in the country.
“Barely 24 hours after our prediction, a statement credited to the Secretary to the Government of Anambra State, Prof, Solo Chukwulobelu, said about N1bn had been spent by the government of Anambra State in procuring personal protective equipment against coronavirus.
“The Anambra State Government went ahead and listed the items as ‘protective clothing (over-all safety clothes), helmets, goggles, facemasks, hand-gloves and other garments/equipment designed to protect against coronavirus.”
The group challenged the state government to make out time to show stakeholders where such materials were stored in the state or the markets where they were purchased.
It added, “Our checks as to whether the procured items had been shared to the citizens showed that nothing like that happened.
“It is left for the government of the
state to speak credibly and factually on what it has done with respect to coronavirus prevention and its management including those who have benefited and in what manner medically, materially or cash wise”.