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Buratai: Publisher seeks FOI order against People’s Gazette

A publisher, Isah Bello, has asked an FCT High Court to compel an online medium, People’s Gazette Ltd, to produce information relating to the story…

A publisher, Isah Bello, has asked an FCT High Court to compel an online medium, People’s Gazette Ltd, to produce information relating to the story of the alleged recovery of N1.85 billion from a former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai (retired). 

The People’s Gazette had on June 23 reported that the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) raided and recovered items including 50 luxury watches from a purported residence of Buratai. 

But Bello told the court that the newspaper failed to respond to a letter dated June 28, 2022 seeking to clarify the source of its story. 

In the suit filed by his counsel, Ugochukwu Osuagwu Esq, Bello contended that the failure to respond to the inquiry was a violation of section 4(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011 and therefore is wrongful and illegal.

He stated that the failure to supply the information requested suggested the news outlet “merely wanted to tarnish the image of the former Army Chief, LT. Gen. T.Y. Buratai retd.” 

He asked the court to make “an order directing the defendant (People’s Gazette Ltd) including her servants, agents, privies, officials and or cohorts to furnish the plaintiff (Bello) with detailed information as stated in the plaintiff’s letter dated June 28, 2022, until judgment is delivered in this case within 14 days of the delivery of judgment.” 

No date has been fixed for the hearing.

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