A Federal High Court in Lagos on February 27, 2014 granted Enough is Enough (EiE) Nigeria, a non-governmental organization, leave to apply to the court in three separate suits to compel the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) and Coscharis Motors Limited to disclose the information requested by the organization on the purchase of two bullet-proof cars for the former Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah.
The presiding judge, Justice Mohammed N. Yunusa, granted EiE leave to pursue three separate suits filed on behalf of the organization by Media Rights Agenda’s legal officer, Omolola Adeoya.
In the first suit against the NCAA, EiE is seeking:
(1) 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 is 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.
(2) 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 (3) of the FOI Act and is therefore wrongful.
(3) 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 30 October, 2013.
(4) An 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:
a) The credit application file the bank provided for the lease facility of N836,970,156 for the purchase of two bullet proof BMW 760 LlHSS vehicles for the NCAA from Coscharis Motors with the following details:
i.) original documents including pro-forma invoice(s) from the supplier, request letter from NCAA and insurance certificate for the assets (the BMW vehicles);
ii.)rationale for approval including the credit application (or an acceptable alternative) originating the request and details of the approving authority; and
iii.) offer letter to NCAA stating the terms and conditions of the loan facility.
b) The loan account statement reflecting the two payments already made as stated during the testimony of Mr. 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:
a) Invoice(s) and landing documents for the two BMW vehicles acquired by NCAA with chassis numbers WBAHP41050DW68032 and WBAHP41010DW68044.
b) Details of the payment for the vehicles if they were paid in full or hire purchased as reported by the media.
All parties have been served and the case comes up on April 15, 2014.