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Introduction to the Book
Freedom of Information is an indispensable area of human life and the book emanates from a desire to help raise the level of awareness of all those connected with the right. A book that tries to x-ray issues touching on Freedom of Information [FOI] in Nigeria must be regarded as a sacred document to be read and consulted when there is a doubt about a fundamental conception relating to FOI, accountability, open government and transparency. There is a dearth of materials on the subject matter of this book both globally and in Nigeria. The work is unique because it seeks to satisfy the procedural and substantive thirst of the researchers and practitioners. It has not been easy deciding which sub-topics to treat in this book, bearing in mind that many of those whom this book are directed will not be lawyers. In compiling a book of this specialty, the principal preliminary tasks lie in defining the scope of materials to be included and the approach to be adopted in relation to those materials. We have addressed the subject in a manner that provides a rounded, contextual explanation of Freedom of Information Act which goes beyond pure law and also adequately covers the field.
There are thirteen chapters beginning with the history of Freedom of Information Act and sources of right to information. Chapter three seeks to answer the question whether right to information is a fundamental right. In chapter four, discussion focuses on enforcement procedure of right to information with particular reference to judicial review where request for information is denied. Defences to such an action occupy a central place in chapter five, while impact of right to privacy on access to information in Nigeria is examined in chapter six. Chapter seven gives an interpretative analysis of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011. The extent to which the Freedom of Information Act is germane in governance, ensuring open government and serving as anti-corruption tools is the subject matter of chapter eight with nexus to chapter nine where Freedom of Information under open government partnership is examined. The scope of chapter twelve is comparative analysis of the Freedom of Information laws in the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, Bangladesh, Canada and Australia, with particular emphasis on transplantation of relevant principles and institutions in those countries into Nigeria. Salient concluding remarks bring the book to a close in chapter thirteen.
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