To monitor the level of compliance with request for information under the Freedom of Information Act, the Centre for Social Justice, CSJ, has written to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, to demand the annual reports from Ministries, Departments, Agencies, MDAs and other public institutions on their compliance efforts.
The CSJ is a non-governmental organization dedicated to the development and implementation of national laws and policies on social rights and justice in accordance with international best practices as well as the promotion of accountability, transparency and popular participation in public expenditure management in democracy.
In the letter signed by its Attorney, Kingsley Nnajiaka, the CSJ gave the Minister seven days within which to respond or risk being dragged before the court for a judicial review of his refusal.
“As you are well aware, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) makes your office its key implementation and oversight institution [s.29 (6)]“, the CSJ said.
“We believe that it is in furtherance of this that the statute imposes a duty on you as the Chief Law Officer of the Federation to collect, latest by the 1st day of February each year, annual reports from Ministries, Departments, Agencies (MDAs) and other public institutions on their compliance efforts [s.29(1)]
“Pursuant to our right under Section 1(1) of the Act, we hereby request hard copies of all the reports you have received from the MDAs for 2013.
“In the alternative, if it has been published online or at a single electronic access point, kindly let us know. We undertake to pay the necessary duplication fees in the event it is still in hard copy,” the groups said.
Applicants for public information, particularly reporters and media organisations, have often found it difficult to get responses from government agencies on issues of public interest.
Where such requests are responded to, they hardly come within the seven days’ time frame required by law.
First Published In Premium Times on March 21, 2014
View other FOI Requests From CSJ here.