COVID-19 lockdown: Provide N535.8m school feeding details – Court orders minister


The amount of N535.8 million was spent on feeding pupils during the COVID-19 shutdown, and the Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered Dr. Betta Edu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, to provide detailed information.

According to NAN, Justice Nkeonye Maha ordered the minister and ministry to provide the requested material to a civil society group in accordance with Section 25(1) of the Freedom of material (FOI) Act, 2011.



By not responding to the group’s letter dated August 6, 2020 or providing a justification for refusing to respond as required under the FOI Act, the minister violated the provisions of Section 4(a) and (b), according to Justice Maha.


“Based on everything that has been presented to me and in accordance with the goals of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, the court has decided to order the first and second defendants to provide the plaintiff with the information requested in Reliefs 3(a), (b), (c), (d),” she announced, in accordance with Section 25(1) of the FOI Act.


Within twenty-one days of receiving the court’s orders, the judge further ordered the minister to comply.



But “Reliefs 3(e), (f) and (g) of the plaintiff” were not granted by her.



Following what they said was a reluctance by then-Minister Hajia Sadiya Umar-Farouq and her ministry to respond to the information sought, the Incorporated Trustees of Kingdom Human Rights Foundation International filed a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1162/2020.


In the administration of Muhammadu Buhari, Umar-Farouq served as minister.


Independent research and the information that was accessible to the group “uncovered that the so-called modified and implemented school feeding programme during lockdown against coronavirus pandemic was a scam, cover-up and well-articulated fiction to embezzle public funds,” according to the group’s allegations.


They named the minister, the ministry, and the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 as defendants one, two, and three, respectively, in the original summons.


The Independent Commission for the Prevention of Corruption and Other Related Offences (ICPC) and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) were also named as defendants in the case.


Justice Maha delivered the ruling by striking out the third, fourth, and fifth defendants’ names from the plaintiff’s suit, reasoning that they had failed to establish a basis for action against them.



According to the judge’s ruling, which was handed down on October 30 but was only seen yesterday in the certified true copy (CTC), the case was partially successful.


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