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Group sues Amaechi over Chinese loans on Railway Construction

Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), a non-governmental  organisation, has sued the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, for not disclosing the total Chinese loans used in the construction of railway lines.

 In a statement, CSJ said it sent a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the Minister of Transportation on March 21, 2019 asking him to provide the details of the contracts/agreements signed between the governments and or agencies of Nigeria and China for loans related to the construction of railways in Nigeria but after seven days deadline, the Minister refused to furnish it with the details, thus prompting it to file a legal application to the Federal High Court, Abuja.

 “After the expiration of the seven days provided by the FOI Act for the Minster to respond, CSJ has now filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja, in Suit Number: FHC/ABJ/CS/441/2019 – Centre for Social Justice (LTD/GTE) vs the Minister of Transport.

 The group is praying that the court should declare that denying the applicant access to information on the contracts  constitutes an infringement of the applicant’s right guaranteed and protected by Section 1 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011.

 Among the prayers include a declaration that denying the applicant access to information on the contracts/agreements signed between the governments and or agencies of Nigeria and China for loans related to the construction of railways in Nigeria without explanation constitutes an infringement of the applicant’s right guaranteed and protected by Section 1 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011.

 Also, it is praying the court to compel the respondent to grant it access to information on the contracts signed by the governments.

“A declaration that the continued refusal of the respondent to grant to the applicant access to information on the contracts/agreements signed between the governments and or agencies of Nigeria and China for loans related to the construction of railways in Nigeria despite applicant’s demand violates Section 4 of the FOI Act, 2011.

“A declaration that the continued refusal of the respondent to grant access to the applicant information on the contracts/agreements signed between the governments and or agencies of Nigeria and China for loans related to the construction of railways in Nigeria without explanation constitutes an infringement of the applicant’s right guaranteed and protected by Section 48 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.

By Isaac Anumihe

aihs
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