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HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS? ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) ? a civil society group with mass membership has tasked the chairman of the fiscal Responsibility Commission, Dr. Aliyu Jibril Yelwa on the imperative of full disclosure on matters concerning involvement of public office holders in high profile corrupt practices.

HURIWA said the essence of bringing about the signing into law of the freedom of information law by the current administration was for the protection, promotion and enforcement of full public disclosure of pertinent information to be acted upon by the anti-graft agencies established to stamp out the hydra-headed monster even as the Rights group said treating corruption with kid gloves will exacerbate Nigeria?s problem of gross underdevelopment.

The Rights group made the charge in a freedom of information request it sent to the chairman of the Nigeria?s Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Dr. Aliyu Jibril Yelwa, demanding the disclosure of the name of the high profile public office holder whom he alleged in a recent interview with a national newspaper (Daily Trust) was in the habit of extorting a federal government agency of all their revenue generated monthly in foreign denominated currency running to millions of Naira without rendering any form of services to the Nigerian state.

Specifically in an exclusive interview he granted the Abuja -based national paper, the helmsman of the nation?s fiscal Responsibility Commission Dr. Yelwa, had sensationally alleged thus; ?There is one agency whose managing director was so shameless to tell us that part of the revenue that comes to that organization goes to a private person, and the said revenue is in dollars. The person collects it and even asks if that was all they gathered for the day, and the government is fully aware of that. Who am I to stop him? If you hear some terrible stories from these organizations, you will shed tears?.

HURIWA said ?shedding tears? was not the panacea to corruption and economic crimes by government officials which has crippled the nation?s economy but it wants the patriotic chairman of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission not to treat this alleged massive corruption matter as ?family affair? within government quarters, but should fully disclose the alleged amount of public fund stolen and the identity of the alleged looter in government so that the law can take its full course.

Titled; ?FOI request for disclosure of agency you alleged that its? managing Director told you that part of the Revenue that comes to the agency goes to a private person and the said revenue are in US Dollars?, HURIWA gave the fiscal commission?s boss seven days to make the disclosure or face legal action to compel compliance with the extant provisions of the Freedom of Information Act of 2011.

Excerpts from the letter served on the fiscal Responsibility Commission on August 13th 2013 but dated 12th August 2013 goes as follows;

?Sir, our attention has been drawn to a newspaper report in Daily Trust of Tuesday, August 6th 2013 captioned ?Architects of Fiscal Responsibility Act are now killing it?.

?In the well considered interview, Sir, we commend you for your uprightness and good intention for the service of your fatherland which was profoundly manifested in the aforesaid interview with one of the nation?s respected media?.

?However Sir, we are not satisfied with the transparency of your comments that ?there is one agency, whose managing director was so shameless to tell us that part of the revenue that comes to that agency/organization goes to a private person and the said revenue is in dollars. The person collects it and even asks if that was all they gathered for the day, and the government is fully aware of that. Who am I to stop him??

The Rights group informed the Fiscal commission thus; ?Sir, this allegation is a serious issue which should not be swept under the carpet. Sir, with profound humility, we demand that, the alleged agency and its managing director, together with the said private person be disclosed to all Nigerians by writing as the direct response to this freedom of information request to your good self and offices?.

On the legal framework the request was erected, HURIWA wrote thus; ?Sir, we demand this by virtue of Section 1of the Freedom Of Information Act(Laws of the Federation of Nigeria)2011,which gives us the right to request any information in any form, in the custody or possession of any public official, agency or institution. In this instance you are in custody of this vital information but you stopped short of disclosing it for public consumption which we strongly think is offensive to the federal government?s resolve to wage zero-tolerant war against corruption?.

HURIWA in the request signed by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko further stated thus; ?Sir, we write this in good faith, hoping that you will grant our request, and failure to disclose this information within 7days, we shall have no option than to seek the necessary legal means to compel compliance to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act as provided in Section 1(3) and Section 4?.

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