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Court adjourns suit against senator to May 14

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A federal high court, Lagos will on May 14, 2019 receive the report of service of summons filed by a Lagos lawyer, Osita Enwe against Senator Godfrey Utazi and his constituency office.

At the last sitting, the applicant, Enwe informed the court that the 1st respondent, Utazi, who is representing the people of Enugu North at the National Assembly has been served, remaining the 2nd respondent (his constituency office).

Trial judge Mohammed Hassan had adjourned to enable the applicant effect service on the 2nd defendant. The applicant had through an originating summon filed the action under the Freedom of Information Act, praying the court to compel the respondents to disclose to the applicant the actual budgetary provisions and constituency allowances disbursed to the respondents by the National Assembly and details of its utilization from May 29, 2015 to October 31, 2018.

He is also asking to be given the details of the contract documents awarded by the respondents in respect of the funds they received within the time in question. The applicant wants the court to declare that the respondents jointly or severally are bound to disclose and grant to him access to the respondent’s budgetary allocation, allowances and how the funds were utilized.

He prays for an order of mandamus compelling the respondents to provide the details sought and to publish on its website including any other electronic means and in print form.

“An order directing the defendants jointly and/or severally to pay to the plaintiff the sum of N1m as cost of action for filing fees, litigation expenses and professional time and resources with post judgment interest at the rate of 21 per cent until the judgment sum is fully liquidated,” he prays.

The action is supported by a 28-paragraph affidavit in which the applicant averred that the respondents rejected to accept his letter requesting for the information under the Freedom of Information Act sent to the senator representing Enugu North at the National Assembly. He swore that the letter was for a request for a public record covered by the Act, adding that granting the reliefs would not only be in the interest of justice, but also deepen democracy in the country.


In this article:
Godfrey UtaziOsita Enwe
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