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Promoting Good Governance.

Court Grants Group Leave to Compel FAAN, Bank, Coscharis to Release Documents on Bulletproof Cars

A Federal High Court in Lagos Thursday granted Enough is Enough (EiE) Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation, leave to apply to the court to compel the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) and Coscharis Motors Limited to disclose the information requested by the organisation on the purchase of two bulletproof cars for the former Minister of Aviation,  Stella Oduah.

Thisday reported that the presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Yunusa, granted the group the leave to pursue three separate suits filed on behalf of the organisation by Media Rights Agenda’s legal officer, Omolola Adeoya.

In the first suit against the NCAA, EiE is seeking a declaration that  the  failure  and/or refusal of NCAA to grant access to or make available to EiE the information it requested by its letter dated October 30, 2013 was a violation of EiE Nigeria’s right  of access to information established and guaranteed by Section 1(1) and Section 4(a) of the  Freedom  of Information Act, 2011.

It sought a declaration that the failure and/or refusal by NCAA to give EiE a written notice that access to all or part of the  information requested would not be granted and stating reasons for the denial and the section of the  FoI Act upon which NCAA relied to deny EiE access to the information requested by it amounts to a flagrant violation of Section 4(b), 7(1), (2) and It urged the court for an order of mandamus compelling NCAA to disclose or make available to EiE the Statements of Income and Expenditure of the NCAA from January 2010 to October 2013, being the information requested from NCAA in  EiE’s letter dated October 30, 2013.

It also wanted order of mandamus directing the Attorney General of the Federation to initiate criminal proceedings against the NCAA for the offence of wrongful  denial of access to information under Section 7(5) of  the FoI Act.

In the second suit, filed against First Bank of Nigeria (FBN), EiE is seeking similar reliefs as in the NCAA cases as well as the credit application file the bank provided for the lease facility of N836,970,156  for the purchase of two bullet proof BMW 760 Ll HSS vehicles for the NCAA from  Coscharis Motors with the following details:

• Original documents including pro-forma invoice(s) from the supplier, request letter from NCAA and insurance certificate for the assets (the BMW vehicles);

• Rationale for approval including the credit application (or an acceptable alternative) originating the request and details of the approving authority; and

• Offer letter to NCAA stating  the  terms  and conditions of the loan facility.

• The loan account statement reflecting the two payments already made as stated during the testimony of Joyce D. Nkemakolam, the Director of the Aerodrome and Airspace Standards and former Acting Director General of NCAA.

In the third suit, filed against Coscharis Motors, EiE is seeking in addition to similar reliefs in its case against NCAA, the release of the invoice(s) and landing documents for the two BMW vehicles acquired by NCAA with chassis numbers WBAHP41050DW68032 and WBAHP41010DW68044.

• Details of the payment for the vehicles if they were paid in full or hire purchased as reported by the media.
Hearing in the substantive suits has been fixed for March 18, 2014.

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