Justice Tijjani Ringim of the Federal High Court in Lagos has granted a lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, permission to seek an order of mandamus to compel Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to make public the breakdown of expenses and expenditures on the N10 billion given to the state by the Federal Government as COVID-19 intervention funds.
Ogungbeje had dragged the governor and the Lagos State government before the court seeking an order of mandamus compelling the Lagos State government, to perform their official and statutory duty, by providing information and publication of the breakdown of expenses and expenditures on the N10 billion Covid-19 Intervention Funds released to them by the federal government.
The lawyer, who filed the suit pursuant to the Freedom of information Act, is also asking the court for an order convicting Governor Sanwo-Olu and the State government, as defaulting officers, to pay the fine of N10 million, for wrongful denying him of the access to the information.
He sought a declaration that the refusal of the governor and the Lagos State government, to furnish the applicant with the information on the breakdown of expenses and expenditures on the Funds and other sundry donations with written notice to the applicant, is a flagrant violation of the provisions of the Freedom of information Act 2011.
In verifying affidavit in support of the ex parte application, Ogungbeje, who described himself as the executive director of Coalition for Good Governance in Nigeria, stated that sometimes between December 2019 and February 2020, coronavirus otherwise known as COVID-19 engulfed and plagued several counties including Nigeria and that concerted and commendable efforts were made by governments of countries including the federal government to stem the tide of the COVID-19 killer virus.
He stated that sometime in March 2020, the Federal Government released the huge sum of N10 billion Naira to the first and second respondents in a bid to provide palliative and to fight the Coronavirus pandemic in Lagos State.