NON-COMPLIANCE TO FOI: COURT ADJOURNS CASE AGAINST ONDO GOVT

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An Akure Federal High Court in Ondo State has adjourned the case filed by an Abuja based lawyer, Barrister Adeyemi Nejo against Ondo State Government and the State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC) on non-compliance to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) till September 20. Nejo, in a suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/706/15, filed against OSOPADEC, said the commission refused to grant information on the capital projects in the mandate areas, the exact locations of the projects, the exact amount earmarked for the projects and the state of execution from 2010 to 2014; if any.

The lawyer, who is an indigene of Ilaje local government said “as a result, the Federal Government in other to ameliorate our pains and to provide succour to those of us living within the oil exploration/extraction areas provided a fund for the development of our area known as 13% oil derivation fund.” “Ever since the commission was established in year 2003, I have not noticed any meaningful development in the area where my family compound is located, but rather oil exploration/extraction have been on the increase with its attendant pollution and land devastation”.

“The commission, which is directly controlled by the OSOPADEC respondent and keeps parts of the funds allocated to the state under the 13% oil derivation fund, has failed in carrying out its functions as clearly spelt out in Part II Section 6(i)-(vii) of the law establishing OSOPADEC in 2003 that was marked as “Exhibit A.”

It was billed for hearing on last Friday for submission of all applications under Justice Folashade Olubanjo. But she was unavoidably away to Abuja for official assignment and put it off till September 20.

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