Court Fixes Date for Hearing in Suit against the Code of Conduct Bureau over Denial of FOI Request

Media Rights Agenda
By Media Rights Agenda June 21, 2019 23:06 Updated
Fisayo Soyombo, Editor, ICIR

Fisayo Soyombo, Editor, ICIR

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has fixed June 26, 2019 for hearing in International Centre for Investigative Report’s (ICIR) suit against the Code of Conduct Bureau for its refusal to disclose information following a request for information made pursuant to the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, 2011.

The ICIR sued the Code of Conduct Bureau over its denial of the FOI request it made. Joined as respondents in the suit are the Bureau’s Chairman and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

In the request the information made pursuant to Sections 2(3) and (4) of the FOI Act, ICIR asked for details of asset declaration of all cabinet members in the past administration including by:

  1. Secretary to the Government of the Federation – Boss Mustapha
  2. Chief of Staff to the President – Abba Kyari
  3. Head of Civil Service of the Federation – Winifred Ekanem Oyo- Ita
  4. National Security Adviser – Mohammed Babagana Monguno
  5. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development – Audu Innocent Ogbeh
  6. Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development – Heneiken Lokpobiri
  7. Minister of Budget and National Planning – Udoma Udo Udoma
  8. Minister of Communication – Adebayo Shittu
  9. Minister of Defence – Mansur Dan Ali
  10. Minister of Education – Adamu Adamu
  11. Minister of State for Education – Anthony Onwuka
  12. Minister of State for Environment – Ibrahim Usman Jibril
  13. Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) – Mohammed Musa Bello
  14. Minister of Finance – Zainab Ahmad
  15. Minister of Foreign Affairs – Geoffrey Jideofor Kwusike Onyeama
  16. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs – Khadijat Bukar Abba Ibrahim
  17. Minister of Health – Isaac Folorunsho Adewole
  18. Minister of State for Health – Osagie Ehanire
  19. Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment – Okechukwu Enelamah
  20. Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment – Aisha Abubakar
  21. Minister of Information – Lai Mohammed
  22. Minister of Interior – Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau
  23. Minister of Justice – Abubakar Malami
  24. Minister of Labour and Employment – Chris Nwabueze Ngige
  25. Minister of State for Labour and Employment – Stephen Ocheni
  26. Minister of Niger Delta – Usani Uguru Usani
  27. Minister of State for Niger Delta – Claudius Omoleye Daramola
  28. Minister of Petroleum – President Muhammadu Buhari
  29. Minister of State for Petroleum – Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu
  30. Minister of Power, Works and Housing – Babatunde Raji Fashola
  31. Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing – Mustapha Baba Shehuri
  32. Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing – Suleiman Hassan
  33. Minister of Science and Technology – Ogbonnaya Onu
  34. Minister of State for Solid Minerals – Bawa Bwari Abubakar
  35. Minister of Transportation – Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi
  36. Minister of State for Aviation – Hadi Sirika
  37. Minister of Water Resources – Suleiman Adamu
  38. Supervisory Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development –Aisha Abubakar
  39. Minister of Youth and Sports – Solomon Dalung

In the case filed by Kingsley Nnajiaka, a member of MRA’s FOI Legal Response Network, at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, ICIR is seeking the following reliefs:

  1. A declaration that the failure of the Code of Conduct Bureau and its chairman to make available to ICIR the information requested by the it  in a letter dated January 16, 2019 amounts to a violation to ICIR’s  right of access to information established and guaranteed by Sections 1(1) and 4 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.
  2. A declaration that the failure of the Code of Conduct Bureau and its chairman to make available to ICIR the information requested by it in a letter dated January 16, 2019 amounts to wrongful denial of access to information pursuant to Section 7(5) of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.
  3. A declaration that the failure of the Code of Conduct Bureau and its chairman to give written notice to ICIR that access to all or part of the information requested will not be granted, stating reasons for denial and the section of the Act under which the denial is made amounts to a violation of Section 4(b) of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.
  4. An order of mandamus compelling the Code of Conduct Bureau and its chairman to disclose details of asset declaration of all cabinet members in the past administration.
  5. An order compelling the Attorney General of the Federation to initiate criminal proceedings against the Code of Conduct Bureau and its chairman for the offence of wrongful denial of access to information under Section 7(5) of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.
  6. The Sum of N1, 000.000.00 (One Million Naira) only on the footing of exemplary and aggravated damages for the unlawful violation of the ICIR’s right of access to Information established and guaranteed by Section 1(1) and 4 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011 and wrongful denial of access to information under Section 7 (4) of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.

The suit is litigated under a sponsored project by Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).

Media Rights Agenda
By Media Rights Agenda June 21, 2019 23:06 Updated
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