Justice Nkeoye Maha granted the order following an ex parte application by the applicant, the Kingdom Human Rights Foundation International.
The order was granted on November 16, 2020, but the certified true copy of it was only made available to our correspondent on Wednesday.
Joined as defendants in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1162/2020, are the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, her ministry, the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 , the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission.
The applicant through its lawyer, Kingdom Okere, had sought to commence the suit to seek an order compelling the defendants to release the requested information in line with the provision of the Freedom of Information Act.
The applicant stated in its ex parte application that it sought to commence the suit because it “suspected act of corruption in the school feeding spending”.
Specific prayers which the judge approved for the applicant to pursue in it suit include, “an order of mandamus” compelling Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, and her ministry to make available to the applicant, “details, accompanied with documentary evidence” of how “N523,273,800 million was spent on school feeding programme during the COVID-19 lockdown”.
The applicant also seeks, “Details with the aid of documentary evidence disclosing how the said N523,273,800 million was dispatched/distributed to the 124,589 households whom the 1st defendant (Farouq) claimed received take-home rations valued at N4,200,00” as claimed by the minister.
It also wants the court to compel the minister and her ministry to release “Facts with the aid of documentary evidence, disclosing whether the 124,589 households whom the 1st defendant claimed received take-home rations valued at N4,200 received it in cash or if they received food items”.
The applicant also seeks among others, “the phone numbers of the 124,589 households whom the 1st defendant claimed received take-home rations valued at N4,200 or the phone number of their Heads of family”.
The court after granting the leave ordered the plaintiff to file originating summons within eight days and have it served on the defendants.
It then adjourned the matter till February 22.
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