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Court Sets to Deliver Judgment in FOI Suit Against University of Port Harcourt | Media Rights Agenda

Court Sets to Deliver Judgment in FOI Suit Against University of Port Harcourt

Kingdom Chukwuezie Esq, Member of MRA’s FOI Legal Response Network
Kingdom Chukwuezie Esq, Member of MRA’s FOI Legal Response Network

A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt is set to deliver its judgment in the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act suit filed by Mr Mark Lenu, a Port Harcourt based journalist with Wish 99.5 FM, against the University of Port Harcourt and its vice-chancellor over their failure to comply with the Freedom of Information Act 2011.

The suit also joined as a defendant the Attorney General of the Federation who had no legal representation in the case despite hearing notice served on him. The suit was filed on April 30, 2019, by Mr. K.I.C Chukwuezie, counsel to Mark, seeking declarations that he is entitled, as of right, to receive the information he applied for from the University, has made a written application on April 5, 2019, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.

Before Honourable Justice K. J. Omotosho, both parties further argued their case and thereafter adopted the processes filed. The court will be deciding on the case as Mr Mark Lenu in this suit is asking the court to determine:

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

The prosecution of the suit was supported by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) in collaboration with the Media Rights Agenda (MRA).

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