The Federal High Court in Abuja has approved the hearing of a suit requesting the Ministry of Aviation to disclose details of all contracts awarded in the past three years. Presided over by Justice Ahmed Mohammed, the court fixed September 21 for the hearing of the case brought against the ministry and its Permanent Secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Meribole, by the Incorporated Trustees of Patriotic Youth Organization of Nigeria, a non-governmental organization.
The suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/969/2023 alleges that the ministry ignored a request made under the Freedom of Information Act on June 23 to provide the requested details. The Applicant, represented by a team of lawyers led by Mr. Peter Abang, sought the court’s permission for judicial review, declaring that the Permanent Secretary has a statutory and public duty to furnish them with the information as stated in their letter of request dated June 23, 2023.
Furthermore, the Applicant requested a declaration that the refusal or failure of the Permanent Secretary to respond to or comply with their request constitutes an unlawful, illegal, abusive exercise of power, discretion, and ultra vires.
The organization also urged the court to issue an order compelling the Permanent Secretary to provide the requested information and details of contracts and expenditures contained in their letter of request. They further seek permission for the ministry to accept payment of the appropriate fees from the Applicant.
The case holds significant implications as it addresses transparency and accountability in government contracts awarded by the Ministry of Aviation.