Prest Aigbokhan, the Executive Director, Freedom of Information Counsel, has admonished the Edo State Government to stop its ploy of wanting to stall judgment in a case that will define the status of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The Court Of Appeal, on March 28, 2018, held in the case of EDOSACA (Edo State Agency for Control Against Aids) Vs Austin Osakue and 8 others (Appeal No: CA/B/469/14) had declared that FOIA is not applicable to states.
The appellants appealed the decisions to the Supreme Court vide its notice of appeal filed on May 18, 2018.
The brief of argument was filed four weeks after. The process has been served on Edo State Government through its permanent secretary, Wole Iyamu, and up till date no brief had been filed.
According to Aigbokhan, “We are not unaware that the state government do not want the judgment to be reviewed, hence their delay in responding to the brief.
“Government has thrown in the towel. They have given in to the wholesome intent of the legislation which is to enable access to public records in all forms and parts of the country.
“I have filed a motion for the appeal to be set down for hearing in the appellant brief alone,” he stated.
He enjoined the Supreme Court to fix an early date for the appeal considering its status of national importance.
However, in a telephone interview, Wole Iyamu, who is out of the country, refused to respond to inquiries as regards the issue.
“As a civil servant I am not obliged to respond to such issues,” he stated.