The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, granted leave to Centre for Social Justice to file a suit against the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Abuja and the Director-General of Security and Exchange Commission, following their alleged refusal to release financial details that were requested under the Freedom of Information Act, FOI.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu went ahead and fixed July 23 to commence hearing on legal actions against the Respondents.
The court further made an order, compelling the University of Abuja VC to grant to the Applicant access to the details of documentation evidencing the remittance to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), the sum of N603,446,911.37, being 25% of internally Generated Revenue of the school.
The application for an order of mandamus against the UniAbuja VC was brought pursuant to Order 34 Rule 3 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedures Rules 2019, Sections 20 and 21 of FOI Act.
In the suit, the Plaintiff/Applicant sought a declaration that denying it access to the details of the documentation evidencing the remittance to the CRF the sum of N603,446,911.37, being 25% of the IGR, which was the total sum of N2,413,787,645.48 realized in 2016 and 2017 and which failed to remit same by the Respondent, contravened the provision of Finance Circular No: BO/RVE/12235/259NII/201 of November 11, 2011.
The Plaintiff also contended that such failure was also against the recommendation of the Auditor General for the Federation on page 196 of the Auditor General’s Annual Report on the Accounts of the Federation of Nigeria for the year 2017.
It maintained and that refusal to furnish the requested details without explanation constituted an infringement of the Applicant’s right guaranteed and protected by section 1 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011.
In the suit against the Director-General of SEC, the CSJ wants a declaration that denying the Applicant access to the details of the documentation evidencing the remittance to the CRF, the sum of N160,271,545.85, being the interests from investing the sum N5,910,269,443.43 into Nigerian Treasury Bills, NTBs, by the Respondent, and which was not remitted to the CRF as required by Federal Treasury Circular No: TRY/A5&B5/2009 OAGF/CAD/OZGN.32 of June 19, 2009, and as contained in the recommendation of the Auditor General for the Federation in page 179 of the Auditor General’s Annual Report on the Accounts of the Federation of Nigeria for the year 2017, without explanation, constitutes an infringement of the Applicant’s right guaranteed and protected by section 1 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011.