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Court adjourns ICIR’s suit against CCB on FOIA request decline

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FEDERAL High Court, sitting in Abuja has adjourned a case filed by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, ICIR against the Code of Conduct Bureau for declining a Freedom of Information Act request by the organisation.

The court on Thursday made this decision after the Counsel to the applicant, Gregory Okere told the court that the ex-parte motion filed by the CCB counsel contained a name which is not a party in the suit.

Okere said that the party stated in the affidavit of the ex-parte motion is International Centre for Judicial Council while the party in the case is International Centre for Investigative Reporting.

Counsel to the respondent, Ekeme Okafor said she believe that the applicant’s counsel is aware that it is an error on the respondents part and could be resolved in the court.

Sitting Judge on the case, Inyang Edem said that the respondent needs to put its house in order if it has one.

“How do you correct an error in an affidavit? This is not something that should be discussed in the 21st century,” he said.

Edem added that an error on affidavit can only be corrected by another affidavit and not corrected orally.

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He, however, asked the counsels to both parties to agree on a date that will be convenient to commence hearing.

“The hearing has been adjourned to January 14th, 2020 for hearing while the respondent put its house in order if it has one,” the judge stated.

The ICIR had filed a case against the CCB over its refusal to provide details of asset declaration forms of all cabinet members of Muhammadu Buhari including the Secretary to the State Government, Chief of Staff to the President, Head of Civil service and other ministers.

In a reply by the Bureau after 2 months of receiving the FOIA request, CCB stated that it was not in the position to disclose the information making references to the constitution and the freedom of information act.

Failure of the CCB to be represented by a legal counsel hindered the hearing of the case on June 27 which made the sitting judge on the case, Inyang Edem give the Bureau the benefit of the doubt and adjourned the case to September 27.

 

Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via [email protected], on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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