The Auditor General of the Federation, AuGF, Mr. Samuel Ukura, has threatened to sue Premium Times for misinterpreting his position in the purported response published by the medium to its Freedom of Information, FoI-backed request on the Forensic Audit report on the missing NNPC funds.
Contrary to the newspaper’s publication that Mr. Ukura blamed the long delay by his office in releasing the full audit report on the “great interest” of the presidency on the matter, the AuGF noted that “the reply to the freedom of information followed template (1) (Information not held by public institution) on page 16 of the guidelines on the implementation of the freedom of information Act 2011. Revised Edition 2013 issued by the Honorable Attorney-General of the Federation, and Minister of Justice on the 27th February, 2013 specifically defined institutions with “greater interest”.
The AuGF said, “The Office of the Auditor General for the Federation OAUGF followed this legal requirement, and the Civil service rules in the response. OAUGF identified the “Presidency” as the institution in the reply as required by the FOI Act.”
This clarification was made in a press release forwarded to DAILY POST by Barr (Mrs.) Uche Okafor Agbi, on behalf of the Auditor General for the Federation. She noted that, “For any group of persons or a media House to misinterpret this very important aspect of the Act as casting blame and to personalize any Public interest duly identified as an institution with “greater interest” is mischievous, which in no small measure calls for a legal action and the attention of the Attorney-General as His good Office has been directing”.
The online newspaper had reported that in response to its request for the document detailing the outcome of the forensic audit days before the presidency released it, Mr. Ukura said he was not in a position to release the report because the presidency has “great interest” in the information contained therein. He then purportedly advised the medium to redirect its request for the report to the presidency which had custody of the document.