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A non-governmental organization, Centre for Social Justice has dragged Minister of Finance, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, before the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, over her alleged refusal to grant access to details of salaries of political office holders from the federal budget per annum.
The plaintiff, in the suit filed pursuant to section 1, 20 & 21 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, and section 48(1) & 51 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007, further prayed the court to declare that the action of the Minister in denying it access to the information, by ignoring an application that was made to her since February 3, 2014, without explanation as to why such details could not be made public, amounted to an infringement of the applicant’s right guaranteed and protected by section 1(1) of the FOI Act, 2011.
It told the court that the conduct of the respondent was in violation of section 4 of the FOI Act, 2011, and section 48 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.
Consequently, it urged the court to award N500, 000 as damages against the Finance Minister over her continued refusal to disclose the details of salaries and emoluments of civil servants as distinct from that of political office holders.