ANALYSIS OF THE RIGHT OF ACCESS TO INFORMATION UNDER NIGERIAN LAW


For more Public Law Project click here



TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page
Abstract
Table of Contents
Table of Cases
Table of Statutes
Abbreviations

CHAPTER 1: GENERAL INTRODUCTION
1.1       Background of the Study
1.2       Statement of the Problem
1.3       Objective of the Research
1.4       Scope of the Research
1.5       Methodology of the Research
1.6       Literature Review
1.7       Justification of the Research
1.8       Organizational Layout

CHAPTER 2: CONCEPTUAL CLARIFICATIONS AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK ON FREEDOM OF INFORMATION LAW
2.1       Introduction
2.2       Conceptual Clarification of Key Terms
2.2.1    Meaning of Freedom of Information Law
2.2.2    Meaning of Public Interest Test
2.3       Origins of Freedom of Information law
2.4       Link between Freedom of Information, Freedom of Expression and Right to Participation
2.5       Impact of Freedom of Information on Politics, Economics and Public Administration
2.6       International Standards for Freedom of Information Law
2.6.1    The United Nations
2.6.2    Regional Standards
2.7       International Jurisprudence
2.7.1    Inter-American Court of Human Rights
2.7.2    European Court of Human Rights
2.8       Features of a Freedom of Information Regime
2.8.1    Principle 1 - Maximum Disclosure
2.8.2    Principle 2 – Obligation to Publish
2.8.3   Principle 3 – Promotion of Open Government
2.8.4    Principle 4       – Limited Scope of Exceptions
2.8.5    Principle 5       – Process to Facilitate Access
2.8.6    Principle 6       – Costs
2.8.7    Principle 7       – Open Meetings
2.8.8    Principle 8       – Disclosure Takes Precedence
2.8.9    Principle 9       – Protection for Whistleblowers

CHAPTER 3: ANALYSIS OF THE LEGAL REGIME OF THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT IN NIGERIA
3.1       Introduction
3.1.1    The Right of Access and Persons Entitled to the Right
3.1.2    Nature of Information Subject to the Right of Access
3.1.3    How to Request for Information
3.1.4   Contents of Freedom of Information (FoI) Request
3.1.5    Response to Requests
3.2       Record Keeping Obligations of Public Institutions
3.3       Proactive Disclosure Obligations of Public Institutions
3.4       Reporting Obligations of Public Institutions
3.5       Applicability of the Freedom of Information Act to States
3.6       Intelligence and Security Agencies
3.7       Power of Judicial Review
3.8       Offences under the FoI Act

CHAPTER 4 – EXEMPTIONS TO FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
4.1.      Introduction
4.2.      The Public Interest Test
4.3.      Exemptions Subject to the Public Interest Test
4.3.1    Exemption of International Affairs and Defence
4.3.2    Exemption of Law Enforcement and Investigation
4.3.3    Exemption of Personal Information
4.3.4    Exemption of Third Party Information, Trade Secrets and Commercial and Financial Information
4.3.5    Exemption of Certain Records
4.4       Absolute Exemptions
4.4.1    Exemption of Professional Privileges
4.4.2    Exemption of Course or Research Material
4.5       Laws Inconsistent with the Freedom of Information Act
4.5.1    The Official Secrets Act (OSA)
4.6.2    The Evidence Act
4.6.3    The Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act
4.6.4    The Oaths Act
4.6.5    The Criminal Code
4.5.6    The Federal Civil Service Rules

CHAPTER 5: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
5.1       Summary
5.2       Findings and Observations
5.2       Recommendations
Bibliography



ABSTRACT




The Freedom of Information Act, 2011 (FoI Act) was enacted at the end of nearly two decades of public advocacy and exactly one hundred years after the Official Secrets Act was first introduced into Nigeria as a colonial Order-in-Council.

This law is Nigeria’s major legislative response to redress the balance of official secrecy, elitism and non-accountable government. The aim of this research is to provide an in-depth analysis of the right of access enshrined in the FoI Act in order to create the awareness needed to promote effective implementation of the Act and assist Nigerians know how to utilize the provisions of the Act. There is the problem of a veil of secrecy pervading public institutions in Nigeria. The result is that journalists and the populace are denied access to information that is critical for accurate reporting and unraveling the web of corruption in Nigeria. Similarly, a research institute or student is unable to produce quality work because of limited access to relevant publicly held information. It was in order to correct these anomalies that the FoI Act was enacted in the first place. Further, several exemptions have been inserted into the FoI Act, which ought to be understood and given limited application and specific scope of application. Furthermore, certain secrecy laws in the statute books are obsolete and in dire need of review to make them conform to the FoI Act. These laws include the Official Secrets Act, the Evidence Act, the Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges Act), the Criminal Code, the Oaths Act and the Federal Civil Rules. There is also the problem of the territorial applicability of the Act to states. Against this background, this research has made certain recommendations including: training and creating awareness to make public institutions acknowledge the fact that they are bound by the FoI Act and its provisions underlie their daily decision making with regards to information management; the secrecy laws and all regulations in conflict with the FoI Act should be reviewed to make them conform with the provisions of the FoI Act; public institutions and the courts, which are saddled with power of judicial review under the Act, should clearly and narrowly interpret the exemptions provisions under the FoI Act and subject them to strict “harm” and “public interest” test. The effectiveness of the right to access information would be undermined if the exemptions are given excessively wide interpretation. Otherwise, the objective for the passage of the FoI Act as a means of encouraging more open and inclusive governance process may be defeated on grounds of the exemption provisions.




CHAPTER 1

GENERAL INTRODUCTION



1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The Freedom of Information Act1 (or the “FoI Act”) is Nigeria‟s major legislative response to redress the balance of official secrecy, elitism and non-accountable government. It guarantees a “Right to Know” or a right of access to records and informationin the custody of public institutions in Nigeria; set standards for what the government could protect from access, and fastened a system of judicial review of denial of access to information.

In line with the requirements of the FoI Act, the Attorney-General of the Federation, who is vested with the statutory mandate to coordinate compliance with the FoI Act by public institutions,2has issued an advisory and a guidance note to help public institutions understand their obligations and promote good practice of the FoI Act regime. The advisory is titled the “Attorney General‟s Memorandum on the Reporting Requirements under S.29 of the FoI Act”3 (the “FoI Memorandum”) and requires public institutions to organise their records in a manner that makes them accessible to the public and to publish information using multimedia formats (i.e. print, electronic and online). The “Guidelines on the Implementation of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011”4 (the “FoI Guidelines”) seeks to aid clearer understanding, application and implementation of the FoI Act by public institutions.

The FoI Act was achieved at the end of nearly two decades of public advocacy and exactly one hundred years after the Official Secrets Act5 was first introduced into Nigeria as a colonial Order-in-Council. The idea of a freedom of information law for Nigeria was conceived in 1993 by three different organisations working independently of each other. The organisations, Media Rights Agenda (MRA), Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), subsequently agreed to work together on a campaign for the enactment of a freedom of information Act.6 The objective of the campaign was to lay down, as a legal principle, the right of access to documents and information in the custody of the government or its officials and agencies as a necessary corollary to the guarantee of freedom of expression.....


For more Public Law Project click here


___________________________________________________________________________
This is a General Thesis for both Undergraduate & Postgraduate Studies. The complete research material plus questionnaire and references can be obtained at an affordable price of N3,000 within Nigerian or its equivalent in other currencies.


INSTRUCTION ON HOW TO GET THE COMPLETE PROJECT MATERIAL

Kindly pay/transfer a total sum of N3,000 into any of our Bank Accounts listed below:
·         Diamond Bank Account:
A/C Name:      Haastrup Francis
A/C No.:         0096144450

·         GTBank Account:
A/C Name:      Haastrup Francis
A/C No.:         0029938679
After payment, send your desired Project Topic, Depositor’s Name, and your Active E-Mail Address to which the material would be sent for downloading (you can request for a downloading link if you don’t have an active email address) to +2348074521866 or +2348066484965. You can as well give us a direct phone call if you wish to. Projects materials are sent in Microsoft format to your mail within 30 Minutes once payment is confirmed. 

--------------------------------------------------------
N/B:    By ordering for our material means you have read and accepted our Terms and Conditions


Terms of Use: This is an academic paper. Students should NOT copy our materials word to word, as we DO NOT encourage Plagiarism. Only use as guide in developing your original research work.

Delivery Assurance
We are trustworthy and can never SCAM you. Our success story is based on the love and fear for God plus constant referrals from our clients who have benefited from our site. We deliver project materials to your Email address within 15-30 Minutes depending on how fast your payment is acknowledged by us.

Quality Assurance
All research projects, Research Term Papers and Essays on this site are well researched, supervised and approved by lecturers who are intellectuals in their various fields of study.
Share:

Search for your topic here

To view a full list of Project Topics under your Department

Featured Post

Article: How to Write a Research Proposal

Most students and beginning researchers do not fully understand what a research proposal means, nor do they understand ...

Popular Posts