The freedom to express one’s self includes the freedom to receive ideas without interference. Access to information is highly invaluable in a democracy hence, the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act by the Nigerian legislature.
The era of shrugging over details we are unsure of is long gone. The Freedom of Information Act now guarantees our access to information of public relevance. Since the enactment of this statute, there has been a very low level of compliance and awareness of its novel provisions. Despite the existence of landmark provisions, there are some areas of this law that need judicial clarification in the court room.
The purpose of this study is to appreciate the Act through its legal and legislative framework an increase the awareness of the public on its right of access to information and recourse to the court in an instance of wrongful denial of such access.
It is also hoped that civil and public servants will be aware of these provisions and put on a new attitude towards applications brought under the authority of the Freedom of Information Act; this is with keen regards to how timeously applications should be treated and in what manner; not leaving out the liability for defaulting or engaging in certain acts; and putting public officers on the know-how with regards to information that shouldn’t be disclosed.
S. Ekpo is a lawyer, being a graduate of the Faculty of Law of the University of Lagos and having been called to the Nigerian bar in the year, 2016. From the Public Relations Officer of the Justice Kayode Eso Students’ Chamber he rose to the office of the Head of Chamber and is currently serving under the National Youth Service Corp Scheme in Enugu State of Nigeria, where he is curently the pioneer president of the Freedom of Information Act Vanguard, a Community Development Service Group of the NYSC. He also works as a counsel in a reputable law firm – Hon. Ray Nnaji and Associates. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.