22 January 2013

Nigeria: FG Must Adhere to FOI Act, Says Falana

Lagos-based lawyer and human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN), Monday said the Federal Government must adhere to the (FoI) Act otherwise it would be violating its own laws.

Falana, who made the call while reacting to the President Goodluck Jonathan's unwarranted condemnation of the report by Channels Television on the police college, Ikeja, said, "Under the Law, the authorities of the Police College would have committed a serious breach if they had prevented the Channels Television reporters from exposing the rot in the institution. It is hoped that the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN), will make it abundantly clear to the Federal Government that the officials of the Ikeja Police College cannot be sanctioned or punished for the report credited to the Channels Television in the circumstance."

Further buttressing his point, the Senior Advocate commended Channels Television for working in line with Section 22 of the Constitution by discharging its duty of promoting accountability and good governance and advised other media houses to emulate the television station.

He also emphasised that the rot in public institutions was not limited to the police college, as other institutions suffered far worse fate.

Using the prisons as a case study, the lawyer alleged that the prisons had become a breeding ground for hardened criminals due to years of neglect and majority of the prison inmates lived in cells unfit for human habitation.

Falana, however, commended the undertaking by the President to rehabilitate the Ikeja Police College and suggested that other public institutions that were in terrible conditions be repaired without further delay.

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