By Emem Idio – Yenagoa
A group styled Patriotism Advancement and Community Orientation Network, PACON, has dragged the Chairman of the Ogbia Local Government Council, Mr. Ebinyon Turner before the State High Court over his alleged refusal to render account of his stewardship in office and allow access to the documents showing amounts accrued to the council in the last one year.
In the suit numbered OHC/19/2019 and filed before the State High Court sitting in Ogbia Judicial Division, the group is seeking the order of the court to compel the authorities of the Ogbia Local Government Council and its Chairman, Mr. Ebinyon Turner to provide the needed account of stewardship and documents needed to verify financial spending of the council within 42 days.
The group, in the originating, summon filed before the court and made available to newsmen in Yenagoa, argued that the legal action against the Ogbia Local Government council and its Chairman, was in pursuant of the order 3 rule 6 of the Bayelsa State of Nigeria High Court (civil procedure) rules, 2010 and section 20 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.
According to the prayers, “Let the Ogbia Local Government Chairman, Hon. Ebiyon Turner, within 42 days after service of the summons, inclusive of date of service, causes an appearance to be entered for him upon the application of the group.
“Whether by a true interpretation of the constitution of section 4(a) and (b) of the freedom of Information Act, 2011, the defendants are not legally bound to allow unfettered access to certified true copies of the document requested is contained in the group’s letter dated 9th of December, 2019.
“A declaration that the refusal, failure and or neglect by the defendant to release the information requested concerning Ogbia Local Government Council amount to a violation of section 4(a)of the Freedom of Information Act,2011(supra) and therefore is a wrongful, illegal and unconstitutional.
“A declaration that the refusal, failure or neglect to by the defendants to notify the claimant of its refusal or grant access to information contained in the claimant request concerning Ogbia Local Government Council within 7 days of receipt of the application dated 9th of December, 2019 is a violation of section 7(1-3) of the Freedom of Information Act.
“An order of mandamus directing the defendant, including staff, servants and agents, to within 14days of the delivery of judgment provide the claimant with following certified copies of proof of total allocation from January 2019 to November 30th, 2019. All receipts of the Joint Account Allocation Committee within the period under review, Financial Statement of the Council, the proof of total expenditure of the Local Government, list of capital projects and list of the location of the capital project.”