Failure of Respondent to Furnish Applicant with Information Sought Amounts to a Wrongful Denial of Information – FOI Law Report

Media Rights Agenda
By Media Rights Agenda April 16, 2014 14:56 Updated

Failure of Respondent to Furnish Applicant with Information Sought Amounts to a Wrongful Denial of Information – FOI Law Report

In the High Court of Justice

Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria

Holden at Abuja

Before His Lordship: Honourable Justice Olukayode A. Adeniji, Judge
Sitting at Court No. 26 Apo-Abuja

On Tuesday, 9th July, 2013

 

Motion No. M/3059/13

Between:

Public & Private Development Centre                                                            –  PLAINTIFF

LTD/GT (PPDC)

And

Integrated Parking Services Ltd                                                                     –  RESPONDENT

Facts of the Case

 

Upon being granted leave of court on April 17, 2013, the Applicant filed a Motion on Notice, dated April 23, 2013, praying the court for:

  •  A Declaration that the failure of the Respondent to furnish Applicant with the documents/information sought vide Applicant’s letter of December 13, 2012 amounts to a wrongful denial of information under the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.
  • Order of the Honourable Court compelling the Respondent to forthwith furnish Applicant with the information and copies of the documents set out in the Schedule to the Application.
  • And for such other order or orders as the Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.

In the Schedule to the Application, the following documents/information were listed:

  1.  How much has the Respondent realized from inception of engagement of her services by the FCTA till date?
  2. How much has the Respondent remitted to the FCTA till date and by what means was the money remitted
  3. What are the terms of the Respondent’s engagement by the Federal Capital Territory Administration and how much accrues to the Respondent from this engagement?
  4. Certified copy accounts of the Respondent showing all moneys realized in the course of her services to the Federal Capital Territory Administration.
  5. Certified copy of the Respondent’s contract of engagement with the Federal Capital Territory Administration.

Applicant also filed a Statement pursuant to Order 42 Rule 3(2) of the Federal High Court Rules, an Affidavit in support of the motion for mandamus in which it exhibited Applicant’s letter to the Respondent, dated December 13, 2012; and also filed a written address in support of the motion for mandamus.

Ruling

His Lordship said he had carefully considered the application and also carefully examined the totality of the processes filed to support the application, including learned counsel’s written submissions of arguments in support thereof.

He noted that pursuant to the ex-parte application of the Applicant, the court granted leave on April 17, 2013 to bring the application.

His Lordship said it is also to be noted as it is borne by the records of the Court that the Respondent has not responded one way or the other to the application, the implication being that she is not contesting the application and the affidavit deposed to in support of the same.

According to him, it is not in dispute that pursuant to the provisions of Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act, the Applicant is not only competent to bring the application; but is also entitled to have access to the information sought by the application.

His Lordship said he was satisfied, by virtue of the provision of Section 2 (7) and Section 31 of the Freedom of Information Act, that the Respondent is under lawful obligation to disclose to the Applicant the information sought by the application.

He said further that upon proper examination of the affidavit filed to support the application and especially the documents attached thereto, being letter of December 13, 2012 by which the Applicant formally requested from the Respondent, the information as set out in the schedule to the application; which letter the Respondent failed to respond as requested, he is therefore satisfied that it is appropriate in the circumstances to grant the application as prayed.

His Lordship accordingly declared that the failure of the Respondent to furnish the Applicant with the information sought, vide her letter of December 13, 2012, amounted to a wrongful denial of information and in violation of the provisions of Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.

He consequently issued an order of mandamus compelling the Respondent to furnish on the Applicant forthwith, information required as set out in the Schedule to the application; namely:

  1. How much has the Respondent realized from inception of engagement of her services by the Federal Capital Territory Administration up to date?
  2. How much has the Respondent remitted to the Federal Capital Territory Administration till date and by what means was the sum remitted?
  3. What are the terms of the Respondent’s engagement by the Federal Capital Territory Administration and how much accrues to the Respondent from this engagement?
  4. Certified copy accounts of the Respondent showing all moneys realized in the course of her services to the Federal Capital Territory Administration.
  5. Certified copy of the Respondent’s contract of engagement with the Federal Capital Territory Administration.

His Lordship directed that the order be served on the Respondent forthwith.

G.N. Chigbu, Esq. – for the plaintiff/Applicant

Media Rights Agenda
By Media Rights Agenda April 16, 2014 14:56 Updated
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