Supreme Court dragged to court for Failure to Comply with FOI Act
An activist, Sesugh Akume, has sued the Supreme Court and its Registrar, Mrs. Hajaratu Mustapha, for N500,000 for failing to respond to a Freedom of Information request.
Akume, who is a member of the Bring Back Our Girls group, instituted a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1161/2020 before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
In an affidavit he deposed to, the applicant said he made a FoI request on August 20, 2020, at the Supreme Court, requesting information on the matter of Speaker, Ondo House of Assembly v Martins Alo, a landmark lawsuit.
He said he sought to know the suit number, and its status: whether the matter filed since 2018 had been heard with the judgement granted/not yet granted; or whether it had not been heard with a date fixed/not yet fixed but he got no response whatsoever.
Akume said on September 7, he submitted a letter of complaint and reminder to the defendants informing them that they were duty-bound to provide a response within seven days.
In the originating summons brought pursuant to Sections 4(A)(B) and 7(1)(2)(3)(4)(5) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, the activist sought an order and declaration that the Supreme Court and its registrar violated Sections 4(a)(b) and 7(5) of the FoI Act.
He asked the court to order the respondents to quickly furnish and make available to him all the information he demanded in the FoI request.
Akume is further seeking, “an order and declaration holding that the respondents have defaulted and breached FoI Act 2011 and thereby committed an offence and are liable to pay the sum of N500,000 for the FoI request they defaulted i.e being the statutory fine for neglecting and refusing to comply with the provisions of the FoI Act 2011.”
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