NNPC says it must receive one month notice before being sued under FOI

The committee says the NNPC had persistently failed to present relevant details of its financial operations to the satisfaction of the lawmakers

CSNAC had sued NNPC over N15 billion disbursed for guarding oil pipelines in the Niger Delta.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has said that it must be given a 30-day notice of a suit before the suit is filed before a court.

In a notice of preliminary objection to a suit filed by the Civil Society Network against Corruption, CSNAC, at the Federal High Court, Abuja, the corporation stated that the one month notice was stipulated in the NNPC Act.

CSNAC had dragged the agency to court seeking an order to compel the corporation to release information on the beneficiaries of the N15 billion disbursed for guarding oil pipelines in the Niger Delta.

The counsel to the NNPC, Augustine Alegeh, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, also said, in the notice filed on June 14, that CSNAC lacked the locus standi to file the court action.

CSNAC had, in September 2013, sent a Freedom of Information, FOI, letter to the NNPC requesting information on the beneficiaries of N15 billion approved and disbursed by it for securing oil pipelines in the Niger Delta.

In the FOI request, CSNAC had stressed that the information was required for its planned monitoring of the initiative to avoid a repeat of past failed efforts by government.

Having failed to provide the requested information, CSNAC through its counsel, Chino Obiagwu, filed an originating summons in court for an order under Section 20 of the FOI Act compelling NNPC to release the requested information.

Under the FOI Act, no further notice of action is required to be given to a public institution before an applicant whose request for information was refused or ignored could go to court to seek court order for the requested information.

“By filing a preliminary objection to the suit on such flimsy technical excuses, NNPC has demonstrated that it is an unrepentant corrupt institution that is not willing to open itself up to civil society scrutiny,” said Lanre Suraj, the Chairman of CSNAC, and co-plaintiff in the suit. “It chose to hire and pay huge legal fees to a senior advocate of Nigeria to delay the suit or frustrate it, rather than provide the simple information requested from it. This is really very unfortunate.”

Mr. Suraj said that Section 1 of the FOI Act, 2011, empowered CSNAC to have access to the information requested.

“As a body created to serve the public’s interest, the NNPC is obligated to provide CSNAC with the requested information within seven days of receipt of the request failure of which the organisation can sue in court within 30 days for order to release the information sought,” Mr. Suraj said.

NNPC has been recently marred with several allegations of corruption and poor accountability, including a missing $20 billion allegation by the former Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Lamido Sanusi.

A counsel to the plaintiff in the suit, Melissa Omene, said that the NNPC’s “blatant disregard” for the right to information as guaranteed by the Freedom of Information Act raised serious concern of deep corruption in the corporation.

“What does the NNPC have to hide in respect of the requested information? Civil society must continue to engage NNPC and similar corrupt institutions as a way to fight corruption and abuse of office in public institutions in Nigeria,” said Ms. Omene, legal officer with the Legal Defence and Assistance Project, LEDAP.

The court fixed the hearing of the preliminary objection on July 7.


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: Revealed!!! The Only Way Left of Getting an Extra Large Manhood and also Last Up to 38Mins+. Get the Insider Secret Here

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.

  • John green

    And who are those one given contract to?? The ex-militants and corrupt fellows in politics?? I guess I’m right. Where are we going to in this country? When will our leader seems to understand the situation we have in the country, when people needs help, the masses they pretend to campaign for before the election were neglected for good three years and they couldn’t do anything more than just to boast and disquise for the nation. Billions are been swallowed everyday and their own children were been treated like a king when the children of the masses suffered. We need a change in this country?? People needs to wake up, we need to remove the people of this dead national party called PDP

    • BlackieUmukoro

      Who owns the oil well. The contract should have been given to hawusa or yeriba, but to the owners of the oil and those who know the terrain. And in one breath you guys ask for state police. Nonsense

  • Thecreed

    The contract was awarded to the militants for the purchase of arms preparatory to their planned war. We are watching, these agents of darkness PDP Will definitely get more than they bargain for. Training snippers and killer squads, we are watching. Those who the gods wants to destroy they first make mad, those beating the drums of war should be ready to dance to it!!

  • Tomisin

    Corruption is NNPC, NNPC is corruption