SERAP Sues Fashola Over Spending on Education:
THE Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has sued Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State for his alleged failure to release to it information and documents relating to government’s spending on certain projects in the education sector.
The group joined the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, as the second defendant in the suit, which was instituted before the Federal High Court, Lagos.
Among other demands, the group wants the court to compel the defendants to release to it information relating to how the government spent the $90m loan allegedly obtained from the World Bank to improve education in the state’s public secondary schools.
It also seeks an order of mandamus, compelling the governor “to rescind the suspension of anyone, including principals of any of the schools for blowing the whistle or allowing journalists to cover the decayed infrastructure across primary and secondary schools in Lagos State.”
The plaintiff, through its counsel, Ms Oyindamola Musa, said it resorted to filing the legal action following the refusal of the defendants to honour its letter dated December 1, 2013, requesting the information.
The group is seeking court’s declaration “that by virtue of the provisions of Section 4 (a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, the 1st Defendant is under a binding legal obligation to provide the Plaintiff with up to date information relating to the following:
“Spending for the past five years on the furniture in public schools in the state, including Ewutuntun Grammar School in Mafoluku area of Oshodi; Ikeja Grammar School; Iloro Grammar School in Agege and Fagba Junior Grammar School, Iju Road;
“The spending of the World Bank loan of $90m to improve education in the 639 public secondary schools in the state;
“Details of projects carried out to improve infrastructure and facilities across primary and education in Lagos State.”
The matter has not been assigned to a judge and the respondents have not filed their defence.