Lagos High Court Re-lists Application Struck out for ‘Want of  Diligent Prosecution’  in FOI Suit

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law 6A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has further hearing in a suit filed by Media Rights Agenda (MRA) against the Lagos State Government and its Ministry of Health following the Ministry’s application to re-list its motion, which had earlier been struck out for want of diligent prosecution, for stay of proceedings

At the resumed hearing of the matter on Monday, counsel to the Ministry, Mr. S.A Quadri from the Lagos State Ministry of Justice informed the court of his pending motion for stay of proceedings dated December 5, 2017, which he said had been filed and served on MRA and he was ready to go on with it.

However, MRA’s counsel Miss Chioma Nwaodike told the Court that the  application was struck out when it came up for hearing earlier due to lack of diligence.   The matter was thereafter adjourned to Monday March 12, 2018 for the hearing of the substantive application.

Mr. S.A Quadri responded by saying he was not aware that his application was struck out. He then sought for an adjournment to enable him relist his application for stay of proceedings.

It would be recalled that the Lagos State Ministry of Health on 6th of December 2017, filed a motion for a stay of proceedings pending the determination of an interlocutory appeal filed at the Court of Appeal against the ruling delivered by Honourable Justice B.A. Oke-Lawal on November 28, 2017. The ruling is to the effect that the Freedom of Information Act, 2011 is applicable to the Government of Lagos State and does not require “domestication” by the State to have effect.

For two consecutive days when the matter came up for hearing, neither the Ministry nor its counsel was  in court nor was any letter written to excuse their absence.  The Ministry had performed so ineffectively that it deprived Media Rights Agenda’s of her right guaranteed by the Act.

The Presiding Judge, Justice B.A. Oke-Lawal awarded him cost and adjourned the case until April 16, 2018 to enable him relist his motion for stay.