By Abdulhamid Olajide
An Ilorin based civil society organization, Brain builders Youth Development Initiative have threatened to institute legal action against the Kwara State ministry of finance over denial of information as guaranteed under the Freedom of Information law.
Finance ministry’s refusal letter
This much was disclosed through a letter of pre-action notice submitted to the ministry virtually and physically earlier today, a copy of which was obtained by Fresh Insight.
The ministry of finance which had through a letter dated June 5th, 2020 and signed by Idowu Oluwatosin Opeyemi on behalf of the Commissioner had premised its refusal of the information request on the guise that the requested information is protected from disclosure under the FOI act.
Disagreeing with the refusal however, the civil society organization through its letter titled RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST FOR DETAILS/BREAKDOWN OF SOME LINE ITEMS IN THE FOURTH QUARTER BUDGET IMPLEMENTATION PERFORMANCE: PRE-ACTION NOTICE and signed by Abdulazeem Ologuntere Esq., the organisation’s head of legal Team insisted the required information isn’t prohibited under FOI act as opined by the ministry and thereby threatens to seek legal redress.
The letter reads “we refer to your letter dated 5th June, 2020 with reference No: F115/S.65/VOL.T2/44 in response to our request to the Ministry, via email dated 18th February, 2020 on the above subject.
” Respectfully, your letter under reference denied our request on the ground that the information we requested for are protected from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2011 (“the Act”), without specific reference to any provisions of the Act for which our request was denied, as required under section 4(b) of the Act.
“Respectfully, however, after a thorough review of our request and your letter, viz-a-viz the relevant provisions of the Act, we state categorically that all the information we had requested for do not fall within the information protected from disclosure under the Act.
” Therefore, we once again appeal to your good offices to grant our request as contained in the referenced email, within a period of 7 working days upon the receipt of this letter.
“TAKE NOTICE that, should the Ministry refuse to grant our request despite this appeal, within the above-stipulated ultimatum, we shall not hesitate to approach the Federal High Court to seek appropriate reliefs against the Ministry, having regards to Sections 2 (6), 20 and 25 of the Act” it added