8 CSOs demands action on Edo State draft FOI Bill
By: Femi Mustapha
Eight Civil Society Organisations and Trade Union in Edo State have written to the Edo State governor, Goodwin Obaseki, urging him to revisit the draft Edo State Freedom of Information Bill, with a view to presenting the bill to the State House of Assembly for consideration as an executive bill.
This was contained in a statement made available to the media in Kaduna yesterday.
The state stated that Led by the Executive Director of Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, Rev David Ugolor, the CSOs used the medium to draw the governor’s attention to the draft bill and appealed to him to re-visit it, so that Edo will be one of the States in Nigeria that has domesticated the FOI Act.
The CSOs had In a letter sent to the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and dated 27th November 2022, Stated that being a progressive State initiated the process of domesticating the FOI Act, during the first tenure of Governor Godwin Obaseki. Consequently, a draft bill was prepared by the Edo State Ministry of Justice under the open government partnership framework and was subjected to stakeholders’ input.
They lamented that since the second term in office, nothing has been done to conclude work on the draft bill despite efforts by various stakeholders to reach out to the current Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, to conclude work on the draft bill.
“Since the letter was delivered to the Office of the Governor on 30th November 2023, with a copy sent to the Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, there has been no response from the governor on the matter,” the CSOs wondered.
Other CSOs and Trade Union, which signed the letter include Festus Alenkhe – Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Edo State, President Aigbokhan – Executive Director, FOI Counsel, Fr. Benedict Onwugbene – Coordinator, Justice and Peace Development Centre (JDPC – Benin), Prince Israel Orekha – Executive Director, Connected Advocacy for Empowerment and Youth Development Initiative, Abiola Daisy – President, Conference of Non-Governmental Organisation (CONGOS), Edo State, Mr. Jattoh Blessed – Head of Programs, Rural Development, Information Legal Advocacy Centre as well as May Ikoghode Ekido – Co-ordinator, Girls Power Initiative, Edo State.