Court Fixes Date for Hearing of FOI Suit against University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Others

Media Rights Agenda
By Media Rights Agenda May 30, 2019 15:05

courtA Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, has fixed June 19, 2019 for hearing in the Freedom of Information (FOI) suit brought against the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital and its Chief Medical Director by Mr. Mark Lenu. Joined as a party in the suit is the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice.

In the suit filed by Mr. K.I.C Chukwuezie, of the law firm, Dace-law Attorney & Partners, Mark is seeking, for the following reliefs:

a. A Declaration that he is entitled as of right to receive the information applied from the University of Port Harcourt Teaching                Hospital and its Chief Medical Director having made a written application which they received the on April 5, 2019.
b. A Declaration that the failure and/or refusal of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital and its Chief Medical Director to make available to him the information he applied for in his letter to them is wrongful, unlawful and amounts to a gross violation of his right of access to Information established and guaranteed by Sections 1(1), and 4 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.
c. A declaration that the failure and/or refusal by the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital and its Chief Medical Director to make available to him the information applied for in his letter to them amounts to wrongful denial of access to information under Section 7(5) of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.
d. A Declaration that the failure and/or refusal of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital and its Chief Medical Director to give written notice to him stating the reason for the denial of the information sought and requested is wrong, unlawful and constitutes a gross violation of Section 4 (b) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011.
e. An Order of the Court on the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital and its Chief Medical Director to make available to him a hard copy of information requested within seven days of the judgment of the Court.
f. An Order of the Court on the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital and its Chief Medical Director to make available to him the information he applied for through his email: marklenu15@gmail.com within seven days of the judgment of the Court.
g. An Order directing the Attorney General of the Federation to initiate criminal proceedings against the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital and its Chief Medical Director for the offence of wrongful denial of access to information under Section 7(5) of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.
h. The Sum of N1,000.000.00 (One Million Naira) only, as exemplary and aggravated damages for the unlawful violation of his right of access to information established and guaranteed by Sections 1(1) and 4 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011 and for wrongful denial of access to information under Section 7 (4) of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.
i. And for such orders or further orders as the Court may deem fit to make in the circumstance.
Mr. Chukwiezie had filed the suit through an Originating Summons asking the Court to determine the following:

  1. Whether he is entitled to the information he applied for from the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital and its Chief Medical Director pursuant to Section 1(1) of Freedom of Information Act, 2011, his application having been received by them on April 5, 2019.
  2. Whether the failure or refusal of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital and its Chief Medical Director to make available to him the information he requested within seven days of their receiving the application is not a violation of his right as guaranteed by Section 4 (a) of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011
  3. Whether the failure or refusal of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital and its Chief Medical Director to make available to him the information he applied for within seven days of their receiving the application does not amount to wrongful denial of access to information under Section 7(5) of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011
  4. Whether their failure to give written notice to Mark stating the reason for the denial of the information applied for by him is not a violation of his right, guaranteed by Section 4 (b) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011.

Mark, a journalist with Wish 99.5 FM had, by a letter dated April 5, 2019 written to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital requesting, under the FOI Act, for details of the money received by the Hospital from the federal government for salaries and allowances of staff of the institution for 2017 and 2018.

In spite of acknowledging receipt of the application, the Hospital refused to grant him the information he requested. Thereafter, he filed the suit against the hospital and its Medical Director on April 30, 2019, at the Port Harcourt Division of the Federal High Court, joining the Attorney General of the Federation as party in the suit.

Mr. Chukwuezie is a member of the FOI Legal Response Network, a project sponsored by Open Society Initiative for West Africa

Media Rights Agenda
By Media Rights Agenda May 30, 2019 15:05
test
Write a comment

No Comments

No Comments Yet!

Let me tell You a sad story ! There are no comments yet, but You can be first one to comment this article.

Write a comment

Only registered users can comment.