COURT DISMISSES APPLICATION AGAINST LAGOS HOUSE
AN attempt by the Citizens Assistance Centre to put the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act to work has failed at a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja.
Justice Yetunde Idowu, who heard the application the centre filed against the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, and the state legislature, seeking detailed information on the overhead costs of the House from May 1999 to September 2011, dismissed it.
The trial judge ruled that the application was filed out of time and dismissed it. The court also dismissed the arguments of the respondents' counsel, Mr. Wahab Shittu.
Idowu held that the provisions of the FoI Act stipulated that such application must be filed within 30 days after a public institution denied or refused to respond to its request after seven days, adding that the respondents had ignored applicant's letter on July 14, 2011, requesting for the said information, while the suit was filed by the applicant's counsel, Mr. Nurudeen Ogbara, on October 25, 2011.
The judge stated the FoI Act, on which the application was based, came into operation in May 2011, and as such could not be applied retrospectively to seek information covering the period earlier than when the law came into force.
The court dismissed Shittu's position that the applicant lacked legal capacity or locus standi to commence the action.