A Lagos State High Court has adjourned for hearing a preliminary objection raised by the Lagos State Ministry of Health to the Freedom of Information (FOI) suit filed against it by Media Rights Agenda (MRA) over its failure to grant access to requested information.
Justice Oke-Lawal adjourned the suit after Counsel to MRA, Mrs. Mosunmola Olanrewaju of FOI Attorneys informed the Court that she was served right in Court with the Ministry’s preliminary objection and will be responding to same before the next date.
The Preliminary objection raises an opposition to the Suit filed by MRA to the extent that the substance of the case is not contained in the Exclusive Legislative list under the second schedule of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution to confer exclusive power on the Federal Government to make the Law for the Federation.
MRA, sometimes in November 2016, made a freedom of information request to the Ministry of Health asking for:
- Details and copies of plans put in place to provide the Araromi Zion Estate located in Akiode Area of Ojodu LCDA with health care services;
- Details and copies of plans put in place to provide the Araromi Zion Estate located in Akiode Area of Ojodu LCDA with health care services taking into consideration their peculiar needs and circumstances;
- Details of any research or assessment carried out on the needs of the said Estate and copies of relevant research or assessments report or reports;
- If there are plans to provide the said Estate with primary health care facilities, please outline the timeframe for the implementation of the plans; and
- Details of the budgets and costs estimates for the implementation of the said plans, if any.
The Ministry failed to respond to MRA’s request despite the provision of the Freedom of Information Act which states that information of such nature should be made available to requesters within seven days of making such a request.
The Court adjourned the hearing of the Preliminary Objection to July 6, 2017.