Business Nigeria: National Assembly, Finance Ministry & NDDC Sued Over Secrecy in 2015 Budget



Nigeria - A group of Niger Delta Activists, Civil Rights Lawyers and Non Governmental Organizations, have dragged the National Assembly, the Ministry of Finance and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), to court over NDDC's secrecy concerning its budget.

The applicants want Justice A. M. Liman of the Federal High Court, Benin Division, to issue an order restraining NDDC from accessing the 2015 budget appropriation pending when it releases the certified true copies of documents showing its budget outline and expenditure of N309 billion for the year 2014.

According to them the non release of information on specific details on how the 2014 budget appropriation they requested from NDDC on 6 January, 2015, violated their fundamental right to information guaranteed by Section 39 of the 1999 Constitution and the Freedom of Information Act 2011.

They said even though the NDDC sends audit report to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the audit report was not immune from being challenged by the Applicants.

They also want the court to grant the relief seeking for the appointment of an auditor to audit the NDDC account, noting that the traditional approach to accountability is the presentation of account openly before a legislative body and with the advent of FoIA, the budgetary appropriation can be scrutinized by the people.

#Nigeria #NDDC #NationalAssembly #Okonjo