EiE Sues Lagos State Ministry of Justice Over Information Denial

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A non-governmental organization, Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE), lodged a suit against the Lagos State Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federation before the Federal High Court in Lagos over the Ministry’s refusal to provide information to the organisation.

EiE, supported by Media Rights Agenda (MRA) with the provision of legal assistance through a member of the FOI Network of Lawyers – Mr. Olumide Babalola, filed the suit at the Federal High Court in Lagos following a Freedom of Information request to Lagos State Ministry of Justice dated January 20, 2016.

The said information is in relation to the sex offenders register established by the Lagos State government in December 2014.

EiE sought the Federal High Court in Lagos for the Leave of the Honourable Court permitting the Applicant to apply for Judicial Review under the Freedom of Information Act 2011 against the Respondent.

The Applicant by a motion exparte dated February 26, 2016 sought an order of the Honourable Court granting applicant leave to apply for Judicial Review under the FOI Act 2011 and seek the following reliefs:

  • A declaration that the failure and/or refusal to disclose or make available to the Applicant the information requested by the Applicant in the Applicant’s letter to the 1st Respondent dated January 20, 2016 amounts to a violation to the Applicant’s right of access to information established and guaranteed by Section 1(1) & 4 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.
  • A declaration that the failure and/or refusal to disclose or make the information available to the Applicant amounts to wrongful denial of access to information under section 7(5) of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.
  • AN ORDER OF MANDAMUS compelling the 1st Respondent to disclose or make the following available to the Applicant;
  1. The process for listing offenders on the Sex Offenders’ register;
  2. Details of person or persons responsible for updating the Sec Offenders’ Register;
  3. Category of persons who have access to the Sex Offenders’ register.
  • And for such consequential order (s) as the Court may deem fit to make in the circumstance

On March 4, 2016, Justice Shagari the presiding Judge granted EiE leave to apply for an order compelling the Respondent to disclose the information requested. The Substantive Application has been filed and is now pending before the Court.

The Lagos State Government established a Sex Offenders Monitoring Programme (crime data register) and the Mandated Reporting policy in December 2014 to reduce repeat cases of providing names and personal details of convicted sexual offenders in the State to a central database.

Justice for All (J4A), an initiative managed by British Council supported this process through a Sexual Assault Referral Centre that provides monthly statistics to the Government through the Ministry of Justice.