Group drags Rivers State government to court over flyovers

Tina Amanda

A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has adjourned the case filed by Member’s of Rivers Anti-corruption Network, against the Accountant General of Rivers State and the State government.

The Plaintiffs, Sebastian Kpalap and Arochukwu Ogbonna in the suit asked the court to compel the Accountant General of the State and Rivers State Government who are Defendants in the matter to make available documents on the cost of construction of the three (3) newly built flyovers, some ongoing and past projects in the state in compliance with democratic tenets of Accountability to the citizenry.

During the court proceeding, Counsel to the Plaintiffs, Victor Nweke, informed the court of a counter affidavits that was just served on them by the Defendants’ Counsel which they needed time to respond to.

The presiding Judge, Justice James Omotosho, after listening to both Counsels adjourned the case to 22nd February, 2021, for hearing.

In an interview with our correspondent, Paintiffs’ Counsel Victor Nweke, said they are not in court for monetary compensation, but for records and documents in pursuant with the freedom of information act.

“In the court today, we were just served with the Defendants’ counter affidavit and other processes and under the High Court procedure rules 2019, we are entitled to respond within fourteen days. We are asking that the records of some of the projects be made available to us under the freedom of information act.

“If an applicant applies for a public record, that applicant is entitled to be given that particular documents he sort from the public authorities. We are not claiming monetary compensation or anything, this is just a public litigation matter.

“We are saying that government should not be run in secrecy, government should be made open to the people, so that the people would be able to fine-tune what is actually going on in the government.

“My client applied that some of the documents relating to the award of contract in the state should be made available to them and the government authority refused, that is why we came to court, asking the court to declare the act unconstitutional pursuant to relevant provisions of the freedom of information act”

Rivers State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Zacchaeus Adangor, Counsel representing the Defendants declined to speak to journalist on the matter.