From Romanus Okoye, Lagos
A High Court sitting at Otuocha, Anambra State, will on February 22, 2021, continue hearing on a suit filed by an association, Udo na Oganiru Anam, seeking an order to mandate the officers of the Anambra West Local Government Council to give them access to the payroll of the LGA employees as well as pay N500,000 in fines as compensation for denying them access as earlier requested.
The respondents in the suit which was first mentioned on December 14 are the Transition Committee Chairman of the Council, Mr Sylvester Orji Okafor, and Payroll Officer Mr Emmanuel Anekwe.
In a 13 paragraphs affidavit deposed to by a trader, Mr Osita Kenneth Nneke, the association claimed that they applied for the payroll and followed due process as stipulated by sections 2,4,5,8,21,22 and 26 of Freedom of Information Act, 2011, but that their request was deliberately and consistently ignored by the respondents despite follow up reminder.
The applicants are asking the court presided over by Justice Hope Ozoh for the following reliefs:
‘One, to make a declaration that the respondents wrongfully denied them access to the payroll. Two, an order mandating the respondents to grant them access to the payroll and lastly, an order mandating the respondents to pay a fine of N500,000 for the denial.’