Court okays suit seeking N523m school feeding details

The Federal High Court in Abuja has granted leave to a civil society group to commence a suit seeking detailed information on N523m which the Federal Government claimed to have spent on feeding of school children during the Covid-19 lockdown earlier in the year.

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 made available 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 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 court after granting the leave ordered the plaintiff to file originating summons within eight days and have it served on the defendants.

It adjourned the matter till February 22.

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