Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sued the Federal Government (FG) over “failure to release the names of suspected looters and the circumstances under which recovered stolen public funds were recovered”.
The civil society group filed the suit last Friday at the Federal High Court in Lagos following a Freedom of Information (FoI) request made to the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, asking him to provide information on the names of high ranking public officials from whom public funds were recovered and the circumstances under which the funds were recovered, as well as the exact amount of funds recovered from each public official.
The originating summons with suit number FHC/CS/964/2016 was brought pursuant to section 4(a) of the Freedom of Information Act, and signed by SERAP executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni.
Joined as Defendants in the suit are the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Muhammed and the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.
The Plaintiff argued that, “By a letter with reference No MJ/FOI/GEN/014/1/54 and dated 21 June 2016, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, SAN confirmed that the FOI request by SERAP was brought to the attention of the Defendants for handling.
However, since the receipt of the FOI request and the confirmation by Mr. Malami that the request was brought to the attention of the Defendants for handling, and up till the filing of this suit, the Defendants have so far failed, refused and/or neglected to provide SERAP with the details of the information requested.”
SERAP is therefore, asking the court to determine whether by virtue of the provision of Section 4(a) of the FoI Act, the defendants are under any obligation to provide the plaintiff with the information requested or not.