Group Threatens Legal Action against 4 Kwara Commissioners over FOI Non-compliance
The Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD), a Kwara-based Civil Society Organization known for its #FollowKwaraMoney activities, may sue Four Commissioners (and/or their Ministries) of Kwara State Government over their failure to comply with the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2011. The Commissioners are those of the Ministries of Education, Works, Water Resources, and Justice.
It may be recalled that ENetSuD’s Deputy Coordinator (Projects Tracking) wrote the first 3 commissioners on 29th June 2020 to request for the financial and technical information on how funds used in executing projects in their various Ministries have been spent, which they failed to respond to after 21 days in violation of the FOI Act 2020 that stipulates 7-day period to respond to any request made under the Act.
In the request submitted to the Commissioner for Education, ENetSuD requested for the financial and technical details of all the renovation projects done in 34 schools across the state since May 2019.
In the request submitted to the Commissioner for Works and Transport, ENetSuD requested for the financial and technical details of all the road infrastructure projects executed by the present administration since May 2019.
In the request submitted to the Commissioner for Water Resources, ENetSuD requested for the financial and technical details of various projects allegedly listed by the commissioner to have been executed in the last one year. Some of the projects include the supply of chemicals for water treatment, rehabilitation of various waterworks, provision of boreholes to various communities, repair of existing boreholes in various communities, renovation of 5 elevated tanks, reticulation and interconnection of mainlines, and rehabilitation of concrete tanks.
Information requested from each Ministry on all the projects includes the amount budgeted, the contract sum, the actual amount released to each Ministry for execution, the details of all the Ministry’s lawful deductions from the money received, the exact amount released by each Ministry to each project contractor, the technical details and scope of each stage of fund that each Ministry released to each project contractor (including the payment certificates), the Bill of Engineering Measurement and Evaluation (BEME) or the Bill of Quantity (BoQ) as it applies to each project, the Engineering drawings and designs of each project, the detailed information of the contractor that the Ministry awarded each project to (including phone number and office address), the location of all the projects, and the current status of each project (including the percentage completion).
In a reminder notice written and submitted today (21st July, 2020) to each of the three commissioners and copied to the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice, ENetSuD’s Director of Legal Services (Lukman Raji, Esq.) informed the commissioners that they should respond to the letters within another 7 days, failure of which ENetSuD will not hesitate to take any necessary legal action under the FOI Act.
Usman Radhiyyat Taiye (Mrs),
Deputy Coordinator (Administration),
Elites Network for Sustainable Development