FOI Act: Court asked to compel FHA to produce information | Dailytrust

FOI Act: Court asked to compel FHA to produce information

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has been asked to compel the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Federal Housing Authority, FHA, to produce information about a firm, Nufsma Nigeria Limited with RC: 160083.

The Plaintiff In The Matter, the Incorporated Trustees Of Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum (ACIF), dragged FHA before the court on the ground that it has sufficient interest in the company.

In the case with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/310/2022 dated March 8, 2022 and filed by Esther Wuese Iorhuna Esq., and Anna Ofunu Ikwuta Esq., the plaintiff prayed the court for a declaration that the action of the respondent by refusing, failing and or neglecting to furnish the applicant with information and documents under his custody concerning the company named NUFSMA NIG. LIMITED with RC: 160083 based on the letter dated 25th January, 2022 and attached as EXHIBIT 3 written to the respondent pursuant to Section 1 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011 and the Whistle Blowing Policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria, 2016 is unjustifiable, wrongful and tantamount to dereliction of duties of the respondent under the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.

A declaration that by the true interpretation of Section 4 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, the respondent as a public official within the meaning of Section 7 and 31 of the Freedom of Information Act 2011 is obligated to furnish on request by the applicant a comprehensive, just and fair information and documents concerning the company named NUFSMA NIG. LIMITED with RC: 160083 as enumerated in their letter to the respondent dated 25th January, 2022.

An order directing the respondent to pay a fine of N500,000 into the coffers of the Federal Government of Nigeria for wrongful denial of the applicant the right of access to information and documents sought concerning the company named NUFSMA NIG. LIMITED with RC: 160083 pursuant to their letter to the Respondent dated 25th January, 2022.

In the affidavit in support of motion, deposed to, by Esther Henshaw, a Research Associate and Anti-Corruption Activist presently serving as the Director of Compliance of the applicant, she said the applicant has been monitoring the activities of public office holders, particularly their level of compliance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) bordering on conduct of persons who are appointed to carry out government functions.

She said the applicant is convinced that any action or inaction of persons occupying elective and appointive positions will have a direct impact on the economy, thereby causing the poor masses to continually suffer even in the midst of the huge natural resources with which Nigeria is endowed.

She said Freedom of Information Act, 2011 also gives the applicant right to access or request information, whether or not contained in any written form, which is in the custody or possession of any public official, agency or institution howsoever described.

According to her, the applicant is aggrieved and hereby applies that this Court invokes the provisions of the law by issuing a Writ of Mandamus compelling the respondent to forthwith provide the applicant with all the information and documents requested.

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