Group Demands Information On NIS Exam From Minister, Attorney General

The Centre for Social Justice, CSJ, a transparency advocacy and rights group has written to the minister of Interior, Abba Moro, requesting him to furnish it with information concerning the just concluded recruitment examination into the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, which turned out to be a death trap nationwide.

Drawing powers from the Freedom of Information ACT and section 48 (1) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007, the CSJ is demanding information on the total number of applicants that applied for the recruitment exercise; the total amount realised from the fees charged and paid by the applicants; the bank and the account number into which the money realised from the applicants has been paid and the signatories to the said account or, in the alternative, whether the money realised has been paid into the Federation Account and the details of the payment (date, time, cheques, letters of transfer or other evidence of payment,) into the Federation Account.

According to the letter signed by Kingsley Nnajiaka for the CSJ, the information sought also include details of the crowd control measures put in place for the nationwide exercise held on March 15 2014 and of the security agencies involved in the crowd control, including letters written to get them on board; whether there was any drill(s) and rehearsal(s) prior to the recruitment exercise and the details (Names, sex and addresses) of persons who lost their lives across the nation while attending the recruitment exercise.
In the same vein, the CSJ has also issued a seven day ultimatum to the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke, to provide hard copies of the 2013 reports received from all ministries, departments and agencies or, alternatively, to declare whether they have been published online or at a single electronic access point and to state where if so.

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The organisation observed that  Section 29 (6)] of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) makes attorney general’s office the law’s key implementation and oversight institution, adding that “the statute  imposes a duty on you  as the Chief Law Officer of the Federation to collect, latest by the 1st day of February each year, annual reports from  Ministries, Departments, Agencies (MDAs) and other public institutions on their compliance efforts”.

It warned that failure to grant the request within the stipulated time will attract a “judicial review”..

Below are copies of the two letters:

March 18, 2014

The Honourable Minister of Interior
Federal Ministry of Interior
Block F, Old Secretariat
Garki Area 1
Abuja

Dear Sir,
IN THE MATTER OF THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT AND THE FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY ACT: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST
Centre for Social Justice Limited by Guarantee (CSJ) on behalf of the Stop Impunity Nigeria Campaign is writing under the right to information guaranteed to all Nigerians by the Freedom of Information Act and to request for the following information in respect of the Immigration Service recruitment exercise that took place nationwide on Saturday March 15 2014. We seek the following information.
·         The total number of applicants that applied for the recruitment exercise;
·         The total amount realised from the fees charged and paid by the applicants;
·         The bank and the account number where the money realised from the applicants has been paid into;
·         The signatories to the said account;
·         In the alternative, whether the money realised has been paid into the Federation Account and the details of the payment (date, time, cheques, letters of transfer or other evidence of payment,) into the Federation Account;
·         Details of the crowd control measures put in place for the nationwide exercise held on March 15 2014;
·         Whether there was any drill(s) and rehearsal(s) prior to the recruitment exercise on Saturday March 15th ;
·         Details of the security agencies involved in the crowd control and letters written to get them on board;
·         Names, sex and addresses of persons who lost their lives across the nation while attending the recruitment exercise.
Our request is further strengthened by section 48 (1) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007 which requires the Federal Government to ensure that its financial and fiscal affairs are conducted in a transparent manner and accordingly ensure full and timely disclosure and wide publication of all transactions and decisions involving public revenues and expenditures and their implications for its finances.

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We trust that you will use your good office to ensure that the information requested is made available to us within the ambit of the aforementioned laws.

With the assurance of our highest regards.

Sincerely,

Kingsley Nnajiaka Esq.
Attorney

18th March 2014

THE HON. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION
HON. ATTORNEY GENERAL’S CHAMBERS
FEDERAL MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
SHEHU SHAGARI WAY
MAITAMA-ABUJA

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Dear Sir,
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST

Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) Ltd/Gte is Non-Governmental Organization dedicated inter alia to the development and implementation of national laws and policies on social rights and justice in accordance with international best practices; and promotion of accountability, transparency and popular participation in public expenditure management.

As you are well aware, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) makes your office its key implementation and oversight institution [s.29 (6)].  We believe that it is in furtherance of this , that the statute  imposes a duty on you  as the Chief Law Officer of the Federation to collect, latest by the 1st day of February each year, annual reports from  Ministries, Departments, Agencies (MDAs) and other public institutions on their compliance efforts [s.29(1)]

Pursuant to our right under Section 1(1) of the Act, we hereby request hard copies of all the reports you have received from the MDAs for 2013. In the alternative, if it has been published online or at a single electronic access point, kindly let us know. We undertake to pay the necessary duplication fees in the event it is still in hard copy.

Take Notice that if we do not receive the said Reports within seven (7) of your receipt of this request, we shall be constrained to seek judicial review of your refusal.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,
For: Centre for Social Justice

Kingsley Nnajiaka Esq.

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