MRA slams NDLEA for non-compliance with FOI Act
Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has slammed the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and threatened legal action against it for not complying with the Freedom of Information (FoI) law.
MRA’s Programme Director, Mr. Ayode Longe, lamented that NDLEA deliberately disregarded the law validly made by the National Assembly, without recognising how it was depriving itself of the moral right and authority to enforce its own enabling law.
Longe contended that by treating the Act with disdain and refusing to implement it, the NDLEA was in effect contesting the authority of the Federal Government to make such a law.
He outlined the failings of the agency regarding the implementation of the FOI Act, observing how the agency had neglected to submit to the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) seven annual reports on its implementation of the Act and make the reports available to the public by different means, as required by the Act.
“Between 2011 and 2019, the NDLEA has submitted only one report to the Attorney-General of the Federation for the year 2012, out of the eight reports that it ought to have submitted as at February 1, 2019.
“The only class of records that the NDLEA has proactively published is the descriptions of the agency and its responsibilities, including details of the programmes and functions of each of its directorates as well as the addresses of its commands in the 36 states of the federation.”
The coordinator stressed that the NDLEA had failed to publish a list of all classes of records under its control; a list of manuals used by its employees; documents containing its substantive rules; a list of materials containing information relating to any grant or contract made by or between the NDLEA and any other public institution or private organisation; documents containing information relating to its receipt or expenditure of funds, which are among the categories of information that the FOI requires all public institutions, including the NDLEA, to proactively publish and disseminate widely.