FOI Act: Disclose expenditure documents, lawyer tasks Maritime University

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Human Rights lawyer, Chief Malcom Omirhobo has charged the Nigerian Maritime University (NMU), Okerenkoko Warri South West Local Government Area Delta State, to furnish his firm with the Certified True Copies (CTC) of public documents evidencing its expenditures from different funds in its coffers.

“We are a firm of Attorneys and Solicitors of the Supreme Court of Nigeria who are passionate about good governance, accountability and proper administration at all levels, and most particularly within the judiciary,” he explained.

Leveraging on the strength of the relevant sections of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, the lawyer asked the University to release the CTC of the requested information as it relates to public documents.

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Afam Osigwe

Chukwuemeka Mbamala

Chukwuemeka Mbamala

In a letter to the Vice-Chancellor (VC) dated March 11, 2024, Omirhobo said the VC can in the alternative, direct any designated official or appropriate authority at the University to supply him with the documents.

The demanded information includes, “Proof of receipt of the sum of N3.4 billion takeoff funds of the University from the Federal Government and N100 million donation by the Delta State Government under Prof. (Mrs) Ongoebi Maureen Orobide Etebu as the Vice Chancellor.

“The Financial Statement of Accounts of the University on the N3.4 billion takeoff funds and the N100 million Delta State donation.” He also wants to be given proof of the total expenditure of the University on the takeoff funds and donation, including a list of capital projects of the NMU.

In addition, the activist wants to get the proof of payment vouchers for each project mentioned as well as the contract agreement in respect of the funds in reference.

Besides demanding to see documents regarding the salary, emolument, out-of-tour allowance, out-of-pocket expenses and payment vouchers of the former VC, Prof. (Mrs) Etebu, who served between May 26, 2015 and May 26, 2019, he also asked for her handover notes/documents.

He warned that if those documents are not disclosed within seven days from the date of receipt of the request, “we shall be compelled to take lawful and necessary steps to compel you to disclose the information under Section 20 and other provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.”

He pledged to undertake to bear the financial cost of making the requested information available in line with Section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.

Source Link: https://guardian.ng/features/law/foi-act-disclose-expenditure-documents-lawyer-tasks-maritime-university/amp/

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