LASG rejects request to grant the right to access video surveillance footage at Lekki border crossing point

LASG rejects request to grant the right to access video footage of filming at Lekki border crossing point

The Lagos State government rejected a Freedom of Information request for CCTV footage of the Nigerian army filming unarmed protesters outside a toll station in Lecchi on October 20, 2020.

This is stated in a letter written by Deyemi Bamgbose on behalf of the Attorney General of Lagos State.

Human rights lawyer Inibehe Effiong wrote a letter to the state government last week urging the adoption of the 2011 Freedom of Information Act.

In a letter addressed to Governor Babajida Sanwo-Olu, Effiong asked to be filmed in the public interest.

However, in a November 3, 2020 response titled “Re: Urgent Request Under the 2011 Freedom of Information Act,” the state government stated that it could not provide access to CCTV footage because the Freedom of Information Act is federal law and not does this. … this does not apply to states.

The government also referred to the 2018 Court of Appeal decision in support of their request.

The letter stated in part: “I am also tasked with informing you that the laws of the state of Lagos do not include the Freedom of Information Act, which is a federal law that does not apply to that state. Thus, your request cannot be satisfied. “

The state government stated that in EDOSACA v. Osakue et al. In 2018, the Court of Appeal ruled that “It is my firm opinion in this respect that, given the provisions of the above law, currently adopted in relation to Section 4 of the 1999 Constitution and Articles 4 and 5 of Part 2 of the Second Program, the applicant not required to comply with the provisions of the 2011 Freedom of Information Act “

PUNCH, however, learned that another Akure Court of Appeal ruled in April 2018 that the Freedom of Choice Act applied to all states in the federation, but the Lagos State government chose a decision that would justify its decision not to comply with FoI’s request.

The Freedom of Information Act, which was signed into law by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011, makes it mandatory for those who request them to provide public records.

However, Lagos State and many others have refused to comply with the IOF’s demands in recent years, even though civil society groups accuse them of having an opaque government.

A request from the Social and Economic Rights and Accountability project to the state government to explain how a $ 90 million World Bank loan was spent on modernizing public schools was rejected by the then governor of Lagos State. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), in 2014.

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