FoI: MRA to engage lawyers for free legal services



Media Right Agenda (MRA), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) for the promotion of Freedom of Information Act (FOI), has said that it was working towards engaging lawyers that would offer legal services to individuals and organisations that needed assistance in the enforcement of their rights to information.

Its programme manager, Ayonde Longe, disclosed this recently in Kaduna during a two-day workshop for journalists.
Delivering a lecture on “Using the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act for Investigative Reporting and Presentation of Case Study”  Longe said the organiSation was taking such responsibility to assist individuals and community to ensure the enforcement of their rights.

He, therefore, urged journalists to take the advantage of the gesture while in need and reach out to the organisation when necessary.
The programme manager explained that the FoI Act would assist journalists on the investigative desks to find their work much easier in addition to ensuring accuracy in publishing official reactions.

He said at least 96 countries had adopted the FoI in different formats with Sweden being the first country in the world  to pass the law in 1766, followed by Columbia in 1888, and other countries with Nigeria passing the law on May 28, 2011.
Longe urged the masses to take advantage of the law and urged the media to sensitise the public.

Earlier speaking, Barrister Alimi Adamu, attorney-at-law and consultant to MRA, said the Act would assist Nigerians to know how their leaders run the affairs of the country.

“We can use the act to unlock the misery call federal government and get the public know how the country, especially federal government operates.”
One of the participants, Faith Maaji of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) Precious FM Lafia, commended MRA for the workshop saying that it would go a long way in enhancing the capacity of journalists.

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