MRA Sues Lagos Primary Health Care Board for Non-Compliance with FOI Act

Media Rights Agenda
By Media Rights Agenda January 23, 2017 14:44 Updated

MRA Sues Lagos Primary Health Care Board for Non-Compliance with FOI Act

Media Rights Agenda (MRA), has filed a suit at the Ikeja Judicial Division of the Lagos High Court against the Lagos State Primary Health Care Board over the Board’s failure to grant it access to details and copies of plans put in place to provide the Araromi Zion Estate in the Akiode Area of Lagos with health care services. Joined as defendant in the suit is the Attorney General of the Federation.

MRA wrote to the Board on November 4, 2016 requesting the information but received no response from the institution despite the fact that the Board received and acknowledged the request.

MRA, through its lawyer, Mrs. Mosunmola Olanrewaju of the law firm, FOI Attorneys, therefore approached the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja Division, on December 9, 2016, seeking leave of the court to apply for an order of mandamus to compel the Board to grant the organization access to the documents and information.

In the suit, filed pursuant to order 40 rule 3 of Lagos State High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2012 and Sections 1, 4 and 20 of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, MRA prayed the Court to grant it leave to apply for judicial review under the Freedom of Information Act, 2011 and seek the following reliefs:

  • A declaration that the failure and/or refusal by the Lagos State Primary Health Care Board to disclose or make available to MRA the information requested by the it in its letter to the Board dated November 4, 2016 amounts to a violation to its right of access to information established and guaranteed by Section 1(1), and 4 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011; and
  • A declaration that the failure and/or refusal by the Board to disclose or make available to it the information requested by the it in its letter to the Board amounts to wrongful denial of access to information under section 7(5) of the Act.

MRA is also seeking an order of mandamus compelling the Board to disclose or make the following available to it:

  • Details and copies of plans put in place to provide the Araromi Zion Estate located in Akiode Area of Ojodu LCDA with health care services;
  • Details and copies of plans put in place to provide the Araromi Zion Estate with health care services taking into consideration their peculiar needs and circumstances;
  • Details of any research or assessment carried out on the needs of the Estate and copies of relevant research or assessments report or reports;
  • If there are plans to provide the Estate with primary health care facilities, an outline the timeframe for the implementation of the plans; and
  • Details of the budgets and costs estimates for the implementation of the plans, if any.

In the suit, MRA is also seeking an order to compel the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to initiate criminal proceedings against the Lagos State Primary Health Care Board for the offence of wrongful denial of access to information under Section 7(5) of the FOI Act.

It is also claiming the sum of N1 million as exemplary and aggravated damages for the unlawful violation of the organization’s right of access to information established and guaranteed by Section 1(1), and 4 of the FOI Act and wrongful denial of access to information under Section 7 (4) of the Act.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

Media Rights Agenda
By Media Rights Agenda January 23, 2017 14:44 Updated
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