Journalist Withdraws  FOI Suit Against Hydrocarbon Remediation Pollution Project

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Kingdom Chukwuezie Esq, Member of MRA’s FOI Legal Response Network
Kingdom Chukwuezie Esq, Member of MRA’s FOI Legal Response Network

A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has formally struck out a Freedom of Information (FOI) suit filed by a Port Harcourt-based journalist, Mr. Mark Lenu, against the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project,following an application to discontinue the case made by the journalist’s lawyer who said that he has now received the requested information.

Hydrocarbon Remediation Pollution Project had filed a counter affidavit arguing that it has supplied all the information sought, and that the department in the organisation that treated the FOI request did not receive the request on time due to bureaucracy in government.  It submitted further that the information was sent to Mark’s email immediately it got the letter, and in addition, the hard copy was sent to him.

In an effort to go on with the case, the judge informed Mark’s lawyer, Kingdom Chukwuezie Esq that he agreed with Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project and its Project Coordinator and understands their constraints. He said further that he does not see reason why Chukwuezie Esq should proceed, and that if he insists on going ahead with the case, he would not award any cost in his favour.

He further urged Chukwuezie to be a true minister in temple of justice and that he should not be interested in their compliance rather than technical justice.

On the clear position of the court about this, Chukwuezie Esq applied to withdraw the suit and requested that cost implication should be awarded to the institution.

 The court refused the application for cost and struck out the case.

The suit is litigated under Media Rights Agenda’s Project funded by Open Society Initiatives for West Africa (OSIWA).