Nigerians have been urged to use advantage offered by the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act, 2011 to hold public office holders accountable.
Dr. Walter Duru, Chairman, Board of Governors, Freedom of Information Coalition, disclosed this on Tuesday, February 11, in Benin City during a Capacity Building Roundtable on the Provisions and Use of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011 for media practitioners, legal practitioners and civil society organizations members.
Describing the FOI Act as a powerful tool for the fight against corruption in Nigeria, Duru expressed concern over low usage of the law by citizens in holding government at all levels accountable.
According to him, bulks of corruption cases are buried or swept under the carpet by our leaders in government because no one ask questions neither apply the FoI in requesting for some vital information from their leaders.
Asking how many persons have copy of the 2020 budget either for state or federal, and if anyone followed it preparation, Duru disclosed that it behoves of the citizens to have and follow yearly budget of state and federal in order to know level of its implementation.
“When you don’t involve in the yearly budget by following it right from the preparation, how do you monitor it implementation and compliance?
“With the advantage of the Freedom of Information Act, citizens need to ask questions on our budget, it Implementation level. But if we feel non-concern, we will be taken for granted”, he added.
He therefore called on Nigerians to take advantage of the FoI Act to participate in governance in the interest of the country.
Another facilitator at the training, Dr. Temitope Olaifa, said citizens gaining access to adequate and accurate information about public offices activities will help in taking the country to enviable level.
She noted that with the Freedom of Information Act, Nigerians, regardless of discipline have right to request for information and that such Nigerian owe no one explanation why he or she is requesting for such information.
JUST IN: OPEC Secretary-General, Barkindo, Is Dead
The Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Muhammad Barkindo, is dead.
Barkindo died late Tuesday.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, announced Barkindo’s death in a tweeted posted to his verified Twitter handle, @MKKyari, in the early hours of Wednesday.
“We lost our esteemed Dr Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo. He died at about 11pm yesterday 5th July 2022. Certainly a great loss to his immediate family, the NNPC, our country Nigeria, the OPEC and the global energy community. Burial arrangements will be announced shortly,” Kyari tweeted.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had, on Tuesday, honoured Barkindo, describing him as a worthy ambassador of the country, at the State House, Abuja.
Reacting to Barkindo’s death, a former lawmaker in the eighth Assembly, Senator Shehu Sani, tweeted to his Twitter page, “Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo, former GMD NNPC and until recently, @OPECSecretariat scribe, was honoured yesterday. He died 11pm yesternight. May Allah grant him Aljanna firdausi. Amin. That is the ephemerality and transience of life.”
‘Go Spiritual,’ Army Chief Tasks Troops To Complement Kinetic Efforts
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Farouk Yahaya, has asked troops to complement the Nigerian Army’s kinetic engagements with spiritual efforts.
He advised them to seek counselling, guidance, and divine supplications in ongoing military operations across the nation.
The Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.
Yahaya gave the charge during an interdenominational church service to commemorate the Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) 2022, held at Saint Mark Military Church (Protestant), 34 Brigade Obinze Barracks in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
The army chief who was represented by Major General Victor Ezugwu, according to Nwachukwu, noted that the theme of the interdenominational service “Promoting National Unity through Religious Tolerance and Peaceful Coexistence” was apt.
He urged the Christian faithful across the nation to continually promote peace and unity in complementing the efforts of the army to surmount contemporary security challenges bedevilling the nation.
Yahaya also appealed to all to desist from the use of misinformation, deceit, and issues capable of disintegrating the nation, stressing the unity in Nigeria’s unique diversity.
The interdenominational service was held in all formations and units of the army across the nation.
The church service had in attendance representatives of the President, Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association (NAOWA), principal staff officers from Defence and Army Headquarters, corps commanders, general officers commanding, commandants of Nigerian Army training institutions, soldiers, and their families.
Man Docked For Alleged Intimidation, Falsehood Against High Court Judge
A Minna, Niger State-based land speculator, Ibrahim Tukura, has been remanded in correctional custody till July, 7 on the orders of a Chief Magistrate, Hauwa Kulu Isah over alleged intimidation and injurious falsehood against a High court judge, Justice Bilkisu Yusuf Gambo in the state.
Tukura had allegedly filed a case before the Niger State Acting Chief Judge, Justice Halima Ibrahim Abdulmalik, and requested that his case over a parcel of land presided by Justice Gambo of High Court No 6 be transferred from her court.
The defendant claimed that the disputed parcel of land of which, he is claiming ownership with suit No: NSHC/MN/173/2021 was pending in High court No. 6 presided by Justice Gambo.
He alleged that the plaintiff in the disputed land, Malam Isah Nagoji, had given the said land to the presiding judge handling the case, hence his petition to the acting chief judge, demanding that the case be transferred from her court.
Justice Bilkisu Yusuf Gambo in her reaction filed a Direct Criminal Complaint against the defendant to the Chief Magistrate Court No., Hauwa Kulu Isah, requesting a police investigation into the allegations levelled against her by the defendant.
Chief Magistrate, Hauwa Kulu Isah, forwarded the complaint to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligent Department (SCIID), for discreet investigation and afterwards, arraigned the defendant in court for prosecution.
The defendant was consequently, booked on a four-count charge of injurious falsehood, use of abusive or insulting language, criminal intimidation as well as inciting disturbance.
According to the head of the prosecution unit of the SCIID, Abdullahi Mayaki ASP, the charges contravened sections 393, 399, 397 (b), and 114 of the penal code.
However, when the presiding Chief Magistrate, Hauwa Kulu Isah read the charges to the defendant, he pleaded not guilty to the charges and was ordered to be remanded in Correctional custody.
Magistrate Isah then adjourned the case to July, 7 for further mention
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