Bar Group Urges Passage of FOI Legislation in Nigeria

8 April 2011

The Human Rights Institute of The Nigerian Bar Association this week advocated for passage of freedom of information legislation.

A letter signed by Festus Okoye, the secretary of the Institute, highlighted the nine major differences between the version passed by the Senate and that passed by the House.  A joint committee has been named to harmonize the two bills. FOI advocates consider  the Senate bill substantially weaker. (See previous report.)

According to a Business Day article about the letter, “Of special concern to the institute though, seemed to be the fact that the Bill if not passed expeditiously and assented to before the dissolution of the National Assembly in May, 2011, may lapse and a new National Assembly may start the entire process afresh.”

Okoye wrote, “The National Assembly and the Nigerian people cannot afford to lose this golden opportunity of joining nations founded on openness, the rule of law and due process.”

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