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The Nigeria Rugby Football Federation (NRFF) has been officially given a date to appear at the Federal High Court in Lagos, following the refusal of the Federation to respond to an FOI Act request served on them.
This is happening despite the ban of sporting activities by the Sports Ministry, to curtail the widespread of the Coronavirus which has affected sporting activities both locally and internationally.
Sports Intelligence Magazine can authoritatively state that the Nigeria Rugby Football Federation will appear for hearing on the matter before Hon. Justice Oyetenu on Monday 27th April at the Federal High Court in Lagos, where proceeding will begin as to why the Federation refused to respond to the request.
On February 3, 2020 the President of the Nigerian Rugby Football Federation got a two-page FOI Act request from Mr. Joseph Odoekwu of Heptano Communications, seeking to get certain information about the Federation which relates to finances.
However, the NRFF treated the FOI Act request with levity by not responding to the request, thereby violating sections 6, 7 and 8 of the provisions of the Act which allows for Public institutions to act within a specified period after receiving the Act.
Sequel upon this, the applicants proceeded to a Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos and litigation was made under Suit No. LHC/L/CS//2020. Praying the court to compel the Rugby Federation to comply with the provisions of the Act on grounds of wrongful denial.
It is interesting to note that: "Where a case of wrongful denial is established, the defaulting officer or institution commits an offnce and is liable on conviction to a fine of N500,000".
As at time of filing this report, the Nigeria Rugby Football Federation is yet to be officially served with her summon to appear in court on the said date. But counsel to Heptano Communications has confirmed that the Federation will be served as soon as possible.