By Dipo Olowookere
A Civil Society Organisation, Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption (MIIVOC) has invoked the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act in demanding for details of Annual Compliance Reports by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government with the FOI Act, from 2011 to 2016.
MIIVOC made the demand, pursuant to section 29 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, which provides that “Public Institutions shall submit to the Attorney General of the Federation, a report which shall cover the preceding fiscal year…”
In a letter dated 7th February, 2017, entitled: Request for details of Annual Compliance Reports by MDAs, status of Senate Order of Arrest of former EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde and details of the regulation submitted to the International Community at the Egmont Meeting on Nigeria’s AML/CFT Compliance; a request under the FOI Act, and signed by MIIVOC’s FOI Officer, Phillip Inyang, MIIVOC made a 6-point demand on the Attorney General of the Federation and Mister for Justice.
“We are concerned about the low compliance level with the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government, the raging controversy over the whereabouts of immediate past EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde and the status of the arrest warrant issued by the Senate on him as well as the Regulation allegedly issued by the immediate past Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Mohammed Adoke SAN and submitted to the Egmont group on the situation with Nigeria’s Anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism compliance.
“Considering the controversy trailing the above and more, we invoke the FOI Act, 2011 to demand for clarifications.
“A Certified True Copy of the details of Annual Compliance Reports by MDAs with the FOI Act from 2011 to 2015. The record should include: names of MDAs, compliance status, date of submission of report and all other relevant details.
“An information on why the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice (AGF) is yet to direct the Inspector General of Police to arrest/produce Ibrahim Lamorde, former EFCC boss to give account of his stewardship, as ordered by the Senate.
“An information on why the purported Order of Court (if any) restraining the Senate/Federal Government from investigating, arresting and prosecuting former EFCC boss, Ibrahim Lamorde, over allegations of corruption has not been challenged.
“A certified true copy of the Guideline allegedly submitted to the Egmont group of FIUs by the immediate past Attorney General and Minister for Justice on Nigeria’s compliance level with international requirements on CFT/AML.
“An update on the fate and present status of Nigeria on compliance with International requirements on CFT/AML?”
“Details on the situation with Nigeria’s quest to become a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), having applied.”
The demand for Annual Compliance Report of MDAs may not be unconnected with an earlier decision from a MIIVOC- organized FOI Roundtable in December, 2016, wherein participants resolved to embark on a Class Action; involving the joining of hundreds of Public Institutions in a legal Suit for violation of the FoI law.
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