The Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been dragged before a Federal High Court in Abuja by the Centre for Social Justice, a non-governmental organisation, Centre over her alleged refusal to grant access to details of salaries and emoluments of political office holders.
CENSOJ through its lawyer, Nnajiaka Kingsley, is praying the court to issue an order of mandamus, compelling the minister to disclose the details of salaries and emoluments of civil servants as distinct from that of political office holders.
In the suit filed pursuant to section 1, 20 & 21 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, and section 48(1) & 51 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007, CENSOJ further prayed the court to declare that the action of the Minister in denying it access to the information, by ignoring an application that was made to her since February 3, 2014, without explanation as to why such details could not be made public, amounted to an infringement of the applicant’s right guaranteed and protected by section 1(1) of the FOI Act, 2011.
Similarly, the plaintiff argued that the conduct of the respondent was in violation of section 4 of the FOI Act, 2011, and section 48 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.
Not only this, it also urged the court to award N500, 000 as damages against the Finance Minister over her continued refusal to disclose the information sought from her office.
Despite several agitation from Nigerians to Nigerians for the Finance Ministry to make public office holders, the Ministry has remained adamant.