MRA named Justice Doris Okuwobi of the Ikeja High Court as the first inductee into the FOI Hall of Shame on July 3 and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as the second inductee on July 10 and the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture as the third inductee on July 17.
“Announcing the initiative, MRA’s Executive Director, Mr. Edetaen Ojo, said, “Six years after the Act was enacted into Law, it has become clear that there is a concerted effort by some public officials and institutions, cutting across all arms and all levels of government, to ensure that it does not work and that it does not achieve its objectives. We intend to call them out in the court of public opinion.”
He disclosed further that, “Every week, MRA will induct into the FOI Hall of Shame a public institution or public official who, by its, his or her action or inaction, decision, utterance or in any other way is undermining or has undermined the effective implementation of the FOI Act and we will provide ample justification for our decision regarding such an institution or official.”
“Explaining the choice of Justice Okuwobi as the first inductee into the FOI Hall of Shame, Mr. Ojo said her ruling on an FOI suit on June 19, 2017 is “one of the most ridiculous decisions ever given by a court anywhere in the world”, adding that the implication of the ruling is that if a public institution ignores a freedom of information request by failing to respond to it, it can never be sued, despite the clear provisions of the Freedom of Information Act to the contrary.”
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