Media Rights Agenda (MRA) on December 9, 2016 filed a suit at the Ikeja Judicial Division of the Lagos State High Court against the State Ministry of Health over the refusal of the Ministry to provide the organization with information requested from it through a letter dated November 4, 2016.
Relying on the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, MRA made a request for information to the Ministry pertaining to its plans for providing primary health care services to the Araromi Zion Estate in Akiode Area of the State.
The Ministry, however, failed to respond to the request within the seven-day timeframe provided by the law for public institutions to respond to such requests for information.
In the suit filed on its behalf by a law firm, FOI Attorneys, MRA is seeking for a judicial review of the matter in accordance with Section 20 of the FOI Act which states that “An applicant who has been denied access to information, or a part thereof, may apply to the Court for judicial review of the matter within 30days after the public institution denies or is deemed to have denied the application, or within such further time as the Court may either before or after the expiration of the 30 days fix or allow.”
MRA is seeking leave of the Court to apply for an Order of Mandamus to compel the Ministry to disclose or make available to it the following information:
• 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, outline of 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.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.