Written by David LAWANI

Media group slams CCB for flouting FoI Act

The Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, has been inducted into the enhanced Freedom of Information, FoI, ‘Hall of Shame’ by Media Rights Agenda, MRA, for its persistent refusal to implement the FOI Act, 2011.

MRA pledged to take legal action against the Bureau and its principal officials for their systematic violation of the Act.

MRA’s programme manager for FoI, Mr. Ridwan Sulaimon, in a statement said that by repeatedly refusing to comply with its duties and obligations under the FoI Act, the Bureau had reduced its own credibility and integrity.

This, he said, undermined its ability to carry out is functions of regulating the conduct of public officers and enforcing the Code of Conduct for Public Officers contained in the constitution, which is aimed at ensuring integrity in public office.

He noted that in the 2019 National FoI Compliance Ranking of Public Institutions released on September 26, the Bureau was ranked among the worst performing public institutions.

“It is shameful that an institution which has the mandate to maintain a high standard of public morality in the conduct of government business and to ensure that the actions and behavior of public officers conform to the highest standards of public morality and accountability, has failed woefully to meet the basic requirements of transparency through its refusal to enforce the provisions of the Law which would help it achieve its institutional objectives.”

He said in the 2019 ranking, conducted by six prominent civil society organisations in Nigeria to assess the level of compliance with the FoI Act by over 200 public institutions, the CCB scored only 15 percent and failed completely in 11 out of the 12 broad indicators used for the ranking, with the result that it was listed among the 100 worst performing institutions in the country out of those ranked.

He however explained that the CCB was being inducted into the Hall of Shame for the second time in just over one year because MRA’s detailed assessment of the Bureau information disclosure practices showed that it failed to carry out most of its obligations under the FOI Act.

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