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FOI Act: Legal practitioner in court over list of employees at FETHA

By Peter Okutu

ABAKALIKI—A FEDERAL High Court in Abakaliki, yesterday, adjourned to November 10, 2015  a case demanding the list of employees engaged between 2011 and 2013 by the management of Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, FETHA.

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The case was brought by Mr. Luke Nkwegu (plaintiff) against FETHA and the then Chief Medical Director, CMD, Dr. Paul Ezeonu.

The judge, Maureen Onyetenu, adjourned the matter to November 10 for definite adoption following oral application by defence counsel, Mrs. Chaka Nweze, who pleaded that she was not ready for the adoption.

The judge, who awarded N10, 000 cost against the defendants to be paid to the plaintiff for the unnecessary request for adjournment, warned that the court would adopt the briefs of both sides on the new adjourned date whether they were ready or not.

“I’m giving the defence counsel one last chance,” the judge stated after rejecting the application by the plaintiff’s counsel, Mr. Hosea Nwofe that the judge was at liberty to rule for definite adoption and fix date for judgment since the matter had been delayed through “deliberate delay tactics.”

Hosea had argued that his client had in 2014, under the Freedom of Information, FOI, Act, applied for the list of employees engaged in FETHA from 2011 to 2013.

He said that the information was supposed to be provided to his client within seven days, but that the management of the hospital had insisted they would do so after a meeting of the governing board.

He said that the hospital had refused to provide the record since 2014 till date.

In a chat with newsmen, Hosea said: “Under Freedom of Information Act, they have seven days to grant us our request. We applied for the list of the employees between 2011 to 2013. We said that the list should contain the names of the employees, local government and state of origin.”


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