Connect with us

City Crime

Legal Practitioners Want FOI Act Compliance

Published

on

Some Lagos-based lawyers have called for adequate compliance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI), so as to enhance constitutional provisions of the freedom of expression.
The lawyers told newsmen last Tuesday in Lagos that a strict compliance with the provisions of the FOI Act would promote transparency, and keep both private and public officers constantly in check, adding that sanctions also be spelt out for nonadherence.
The Tide reports that the Freedom of Information Act 2000, provides public access to information held by public authorities.
It does this in two ways namely: public authorities are obliged to publish certain information about their activities; and on the other hand, members of the public are entitled to request information from public authorities.
The Lagos lawyers have, however, bemoaned the non-availability of certain information when sought, and have called for due observance of these provisions as well urged that sanctions be meted out to offenders.
A Constitutional lawyer, Mr Samuel Esoga, told newsmen that before May 2018, there had been a level of compliance with the Act but same had diminished over time.
“Before May 2018, the FOI provisions were complied with to a large extent, however, some institutions hide under some of its provisions to withhold information upon request,” he said.
Esoga said that sections such as 12(1)(a), (v) S 14(1)(b) and 15(1)(a) of the Act, places exceptions on information that can be disclosed, and so, institutions think they are not obliged to disclose information that they consider a breach of personal privacy.
According to him, this has been the ground relied on by some institutions to refuse disclosure of required information, adding that it is important to redress same.
In the same vein, another lawyer, Mrs Adaobi Ezikeoha, said that though the FOI Act spells out clearly its “modus operandi”, the legislature could assist in giving effect to its provisions.
She said that flowing from the FOI Act, the 3rd schedule of the constitution provides that information could only be made available for inspection on terms and conditions as prescribed by the National Assembly.
Ezikeoha, however, said that she was in doubt if such terms and conditions had been prescribed and therefore, called for an enhancement of the process.
On his part, a Rights Campaigner, Mr Spurgeon Ataene, said that the Freedom of Information Act was well thought out but remains largely an ideal paper work.
According to him, some organisations and establishments will rather intimidate information seekers, or engage the services of senior lawyers to defend them instead of giving out information within their domain.
“Therefore, to give bite to the law, there should be periodic reviews of files by a body set up for that purpose with a view to determining if there has been undue refusal to oblige information upon demand.
“The penalty for refusal to disclose such information should range from heavy fines to prosecution of those involved in withholding information,” he said.

Continue Reading

City Crime

Rangers Retain 20 Players For Next Season

Published

on

Management of seven-time Nigeria league champions, Rangers International F.C have concluded plans to retain only twenty-two players that featured for the team in the fast winding-up 2018/2019 season.
General manager of the ‘Flying Antelopes’, Prince Davidson Owumi made this revelation, Monday, as preparations are on to welcome back the players from the two-weeks break sanctioned by the club.
The former NPL and Warri Wolves boss confirmed that the players whose services were needed for the coming season have been contacted and are expected back in the coal city next week.
“Yes, we have started preparations for the coming season as we have made contacts with the players needed to help us achieve our target both on the continent and domestic scene.
Only twenty-two of the players that featured for us in the ending season will be privileged to wear the club’s jersey in the coming season. Most of them have been reached and negotiations concluded. Those reached will be known as soon as they return from the break,” said Prince Owumi.
The General Manager further said, “I can also confirm that we have had successful discussions with some players that we hope will add some strength to the team as our target on the continent and domestic scene remain intact.”
It would be recalled that Rangers ended the 2018/2019 abridged NPFL season on the third position at the end of the season’ championship playoff while its forays on the 2019 Total CAF Confederations cup ended in the group stage.

Continue Reading

City Crime

Group Condemns Spate Of Violence In Rivers

Published

on

A Port Harcourt based advocacy group, Advocacy for Peace, Good Governance and Social justice has condemned the spate of violence in Rivers State.
The president of the group, Mr. John Cement, who stated this while chatting with newsmen in Port Harcourt on Monday, warned that unless urgent measures are taken to step up security, hoodlums would continue to wreak havoc in the state.
Mr. Clement, who was speaking against the backdrop of the killing of two policemen at Timber Area of Port Harcourt, expressed regrets that the proliferation of small arms had remained unchecked.
He said everybody was a victim in a crisis situation.
Mr. Clement remarked that most hoodlums that were causing mayhem in the state, had infiltrated from neighbouring states with pockets of Rivers indigenes.
He called on the police to be proactive in order to maintain peace in the state.
Mr. Clement urged the police to make use of Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to locate the identity of criminals ravaging the state.
He noted if the police were able to have a data of criminals in the state, it would be easy for them to fish out hoodlums.
The president urged all to support the police in their effort to fish out criminals in the state.

Continue Reading

City Crime

UK Alert: A’Ibom Says State Peaceful, Safe

Published

on

The Akwa Ibom State Government has faulted the UK government for the travel ban issued on its citizens tagging the state along with 20 others in Nigeria as unsafe in Nigeria.
In a letter signed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, the state government stressed that Akwa Ibom remains one of the most peaceful, safe and secure states in Nigeria.
The letter addressed to the British High Commissioner in Nigeria said it is incontrovertible and unvarnished fact that Akwa Ibom remains one of the most peaceful states in the country.
Recall that the British government had warned its citizens not to travel to 21 states in Nigeria because of kidnappings, terrorism, militancy and diseases.
In a statement posted on its website and updated on Monday, June 17, 2019, the FCO said frequent attacks by terrorist sect Boko Haram in the restive northeastern region of Nigeria, raids by armed bandits in the northwest and north-central states, kidnappings across Nigeria, fatal diseases like Ebola and Lassa fever and militancy in the south-south, have made Nigeria a dangerous destination for the rest of the world.
Making allusion to statement by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamil Sarham during a courtesy call on the state Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel in October last year, the SSG said the GOC had commended the peaceful nature of the state and rated it as the most peaceful and violence-free of all the areas under his command.
“A similar sentiment was also expressed by Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman, the commander of the Joint Task Force in the Niger-Delta region.
“The US Ambassador, W. Stuart Symington had visited Akwa Ibom State on two occasions within the last one and a half years. No Ambassador would visit a State that is considered unsafe.
“During the recently concluded Presidential/National Assembly, Gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections, in spite of the threat and boasts of the people on the opposite side of the political divide to unleash violence, the elections were adjudged peaceful, credible and free.
“The Commissioner of Police in charge of the elections in Akwa Ibom State, Ibrahim Kaoje in his report of the elections to the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of the Department of Operations stated that the elections in the State were conducted under the freest, credible and most peaceful atmosphere.
“The Emir of Kano, His Highness, Muhammadu Sanusi 11 during a courtesy visit to the State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, also commended the peace and security citizens enjoy in the State,” it said.
The SSG in the letter said that the state had been receiving droves of investors from all parts of the world into the State for the purposes of investing their ‘peaceful, safe and secure environment. The SSG stressed that all the above would not have been possible if the State is not safe, peaceful and secure.
“Finally, we wish to state emphatically and unequivocally that Akwa Ibom State is peaceful, safe and secure and remains an inviting location for foreign investors, and other Nigerians who daily troop to the State to enjoy our famed cuisines and the hospitality of our people,” it read.

Continue Reading

Trending