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The Challenges of Implementing Freedom of Information Act by the Civil Society Organizations in Lagos state, Nigeria

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The study was carried out to determine the challenges and difficulties
encountered by the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Lagos State,
while utilising the FoIA to access information. The study was
predicated on two theories - Public Sphere, and Social Responsibility
theories. The objectives, among other things, were to investigate and
evaluate the duration odd time expended in accessing information
under the FoIA and the challenges and difficulties encountered, while
utilizing the FoIA. Interview schedule was used to elicit information
from the three CSOs – SERAP, CLO, MRA purposively selected.
Analysis revealed that the CSOs in Lagos state encountered
challenges and difficulties in the areas of procedure, release of
information, and the effect of the Official Secret Act 1962, amongst
others. The study also found out, that majority of the information
accessed under the FoIA by the CSOs in Lagos state were accessed
outside the seven (7) days’ timeframe stipulated by the FoIA in
Section 4. Based on the forgoing, it was recommended, amongst
others, that the difficulties and challenges identified by this study
should be, urgently, presented or tabled before the appropriate
quarters – Attorney general, who the law imbued with the supervisory
function over the implementation of the FoIA; and to the National
Assembly for amendment.
Keywords: Civil Society Organisations, Challenges, Freedom of
Information Act, Implementation

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The Challenges of Implementing Freedom of Information Act by the Civil Society Organizations in Lagos state, Nigeria

  1. 1. Triple A Research Journal of Social Science and Humanity (JSSH) | Vol.2 No.3 | October 2018 Triple A Research Journal of Social Science and Humanity (ISSN: 2636-5472) Vol.2(3): 089 - 095, October 2018 Available online: http://www.triplearesjournal.org/jssh Copyright ©2018 Triple A Research Journal Full Length Research Paper The Challenges of Implementing Freedom of Information Act by the Civil Society Organizations in Lagos state, Nigeria Chukwu, Johnkennedy Obinna Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria Corresponding Author: Chukwu, Johnkennedy Obinna Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria Email address: obinnakennedy@yahoo.com ABSTRACT The study was carried out to determine the challenges and difficulties encountered by the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Lagos State, while utilising the FoIA to access information. The study was predicated on two theories - Public Sphere, and Social Responsibility theories. The objectives, among other things, were to investigate and evaluate the duration odd time expended in accessing information under the FoIA and the challenges and difficulties encountered, while utilizing the FoIA. Interview schedule was used to elicit information from the three CSOs – SERAP, CLO, MRA purposively selected. Analysis revealed that the CSOs in Lagos state encountered challenges and difficulties in the areas of procedure, release of information, and the effect of the Official Secret Act 1962, amongst others. The study also found out, that majority of the information accessed under the FoIA by the CSOs in Lagos state were accessed outside the seven (7) days’ timeframe stipulated by the FoIA in Section 4. Based on the forgoing, it was recommended, amongst others, that the difficulties and challenges identified by this study should be, urgently, presented or tabled before the appropriate quarters – Attorney general, who the law imbued with the supervisory function over the implementation of the FoIA; and to the National Assembly for amendment. Keywords: Civil Society Organisations, Challenges, Freedom of Information Act, Implementation INTRODUCTION Freedom of information, specifically, access to information held by public authorities is a fundamental element of the right to freedom of expression and vital to the proper functioning of a democracy. It is an act that makes provision for the disclosure of information held by public authorities or by persons providing services for them (Ruth 2000). This means that the act enables one sees a wide range of public information that has the potency to obliterate ignorance (McCreadie and Rice (2005), encourage participation of citizens in the governance of their country, and importantly, exterminate secrecy in government, which Thomas Jefferson (1787), former President, United States of America, described as the breeder of evil and corruption in government. In Nigeria, a culture of secrecy, particularly, in government, has become entrenched. This has led to the breakdown of the flow of information, and now promotes actions that impairs democratic process, slows economic and social development, as citizens are alienated from making informed opinion and contribution towards the process of governance and choices, as to who governs them, and scrutinize officials to ensure corruption is avoided (Ekunno 2010). In countries where Freedom of Information Act is in
  2. 2. Triple A Research Journal of Social Science and Humanity (JSSH) | Vol.2 No.3 | October 2018 Obinna 090 operation, as well as in Nigeria, anyone can make a request for information – there are no restrictions on age, sex, religion, nationality, or place of residence, amongst others. You can request for any information subject only to the exceptions, which is usually for the protection of national interest, and does not need to provide reason(s) for the request. Rather, upon refusal, the public body must provide the reason (s) for such denial. The Act, also, amongst others, provides for application to the court for the release of the information hitherto denied. The Nigeria’s Freedom of information Act was enacted in 2011. Several scholars have argued that the aim for its (The Act) enactment is to engender and improve access to information in Nigeria. This makes it imperative to ascertain the level of compliance to section 4 of the FoIA, which provides for release of information within seven (7) days of request for information, the duration of time expended in accessing information through the FoIA by the CSOs, and whether there were challenges and difficulties inherent in accessing information under the FoIA. This is against the backdrop of the enormous sacrifices and untiring efforts made by the CSOs and others alike, in actualising the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act 2011. And Ene (2012), response to the emergence of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, that “with the Freedom of Information Act 2011 now in place, that Nigerians, finally, have the vital tools to uncover facts, fight corruption and hold officials and institutions accountable” (p.2). It is also unclear whether the CSOs, particularly, the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project (SERAP) encountered challenges and difficulties, while utilising the FoIA to access information, What is the duration of time expended by the CSOs in accessing information through the FoIA, especially, government-held information, stored in government agencies and parastatals. These serve as the fulcrum, and what this paper seeks to unravel. Objectives of the Study The objectives of this study are to: • Find out the duration of time expended in accessing information through the FoIA by the CSOs in Lagos state. • Identify the challenges encountered by the CSOs in the utilisation of the FoIA. Research Question • What is the duration of time expended by the CSOs in accessing information through the FoIA? • What are the challenges encountered by the CSOs in the utilisation of the FoIA? Theoretical Framework The study was anchored on two theories – Social Responsibility Theory and Public Sphere. The Social Responsibility Theory (SRT) is an off-shot of Libertarian Theory propounded by F.S. Siebert, T.B. Peterson and W. Schramm in 1963. Historically, it owes its origin to the Hutchins Commission on Freedom of the Press, set up in the United States of America, in 1947, to re-examine the concept of Press Freedom. The Commission’s work became what is known as the Social Responsibility Theory. Peterson interpreted SRT thus: that freedom carries obligation and the press, which enjoys privileged position under the government (Constitution) is obliged to be responsible to the society”. He further listed the following as what constitute social responsibility: Servicing the political system by providing information, discussion and debate on public affairs; Enlightening the public so as to make it capable of self-government; and Safeguarding the rights of the individuals by serving as watchdog against government (p.20). Plausibly, the above also encapsulates the role of the CSOs in the Nigerian society. From the foregoing, one could rightly state that it is the social responsibility of the CSOs in Lagos state, and others alike, to utilise the Freedom of Information Act, and to sensitise the Nigerian society on the usefulness and the positive effect of the Freedom of Information Act 2011. Importantly, too, to educate the people on the need to fully implement and utilise the Act, for the benefit of the Nigerian society; and possibly, if any, draw attention of the people and relevant authorities to the area(s) that may require intervention and amendment. On the hand, public sphere theory was propounded by Jurgen Habermas in his work “The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere” in 1962. He defined the public sphere as “a civil arena where public opinions take shape, and that same, with strong circulation (of public opinions), can pressure authority groups and limit their actions” (p. 57). He further said public sphere now serves as “a regulatory institution against the authority of the state” (p. 27). In agreement, Benhabib (1992) asserts that the study of public sphere centers on the idea of participatory democracy, and how public opinion becomes political action. He quipped further that the basic ideal belief in public sphere theory is that the government’s laws and policies should be steered by the public sphere and that the only legitimate governments are those that listen to the public sphere” (p. 73). Hauser (1999) amplified it further “as a discursive space in which individuals and groups associate to discuss matters of mutual interest and, where possible, to reach a common judgment about them” (p. 61). Flowing from the above, the researcher asserts that Public sphere, as an area in social life where individuals come together to freely discuss and identify societal problems, can, through discussion, influence political action, criticize and form opinions that eventually, may become policy/or policies of government. This is akin to the activities of the CSOs, who, oftentimes, provide the sphere for debate and discussions on topical issues affecting governance and the society, and also, on issues pertaining to Freedom of Information Act 2011 and its utilisation. This sphere serves as a platform for building consensus
  3. 3. Triple A Research Journal of Social Science and Humanity (JSSH) | Vol.2 No.3 | October 2018 091 Triple A Res. J. Soc. Sci. Human. amongst the citizens and the civil society. Similarly, also, these activities of the CSOs tandems with this theory (Public Sphere) in many ways and forms the justification and predication of this study on it. Review of Related Literature Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) include all market and non-state organizations outside of the family in which people organize themselves to pursue shared interests in the public domain. Examples include community-based organizations and village associations, environmental groups, women’s rights groups, farmers’ associations, etc. (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC), 2008 report). Civil society groups are agents of development in any nation. Civil society organizations appear to play important role in social, political and economic development activities. The transformation of any society or system, particularly, the developing societies like Nigeria depend on the effectiveness and efficiency of its civil societies (Omede 2014, p.211). Therefore, a vibrant civil society is sine qua non to the sustenance of any nation’s development. Studies have shown that the role of civil society groups is vital in the political, social and economic development of African countries (Diamond, 1999; Ndegwa, 1996; Yohanness, 1997; and Gyimah-Boadi, 2004). They opined that this role can be view from three dimensions. First, improving the quality of governance; second, developing the capacity of governments to apply the principles of accountability, transparency and openness; third, working towards gaining the commitment of all elected officials, public servants, and NGOs to good governance. In view of this, one can infer that, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have contributed immensely to democratic consolidation and sustenance in Nigeria, and also, very instrumental to the emergence of the Freedom of Information Act 2011. As agents of development in any nation, they serve as the internal correctional mechanism to check and balance the activities of government to avoid wasteful spending, misappropriation and embezzlement of funds and help determine or prioritise the needs of the people. The CSOs, also, often, champion dissenting views with government officials on a particular issue at a point in time. Scholars are yet to agree on whether there is difference between civil society and civil society organisations. The concepts of ‘civil society’ and ‘civil society organisation’ are used interchangeably by most scholars without considering the differences between the two distinct, but inter-related concepts. This also made scholars to use other common terms such as: non-profit organisation, charity, NGO, third sector, voluntary sector and so on to mean civil society organisations as they are most widely understood internationally. It is arguable that civil society is broader than civil society organisations. The former entails the entire territorial polity, which include all citizens who either officially belong to any civil group or not; while the latter entails those individuals that consciously and actively participate in civil group activities. This analysis depicts that the collective people, in its entirety, living in a defined territory, made up of families, is seen as a civil society of such nation, while those that consciously come together to form a formal organisation to promote specific public interest and meet up with the characteristics of civil society organisations. Nigeria has a long and strong tradition of civil society, which represents the diverse and pluralistic nature of Nigerian society. Civil society groups primarily led Nigeria’s history of struggle and resistance. In fact, their formation and activities date back to the colonial period when different groups, sometimes locally and territorially based, and at other times transcending clan and ‘tribal’ boundaries, became part of the nationalist protest against the repressive colonial state. Under the military regimes in Nigeria, there were attempts to stop, reduce or manipulate the activities of the civil society organisations. This is probably understandable, as civil society organizations thrive better in free democratic and liberal society. Despite the limitations placed on their activities, the civil society under the military played a significant part (particularly in the late 1990s) in the final ouster of military rule in Nigeria. Scholars have argued that certain characteristics exist that determine or serve as a prerequisite for an organization to be seen as civil society organization. These include: being voluntary, self-generating, rule-abiding, and distinct from parochial, economic, and political societies. Diamond (1999) further posited that promotion of pluralism and diversity also serves as a very salient characteristic of the CSOs. Also, groups or organizations that fall outside government and which are not primarily motivated by profit. The import of the above is that any group or organization that does not possess the above characteristics cannot be classified and/or be seen as one of the CSOs. EMPIRICAL REVIEW Job B. Guyson, Eric Dung Jamo, and Ismaila M. Yakubu (2017) conducted a study on the utilisation of the 2011 Freedom of Information Act in selected States of North Central Nigeria. The study revealed that the Act is not utilised in the region, despite the journalists’ enormous knowledge of the legislation. The study also showed that journalists in the north central region have not benefited from the Act. Similarly, Agbo (2015) conducted a study on the utilisation of the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) among print media journalists in South –East, Nigeria. The study showed that journalists in the print media in the South- Eastern
  4. 4. Triple A Research Journal of Social Science and Humanity (JSSH) | Vol.2 No.3 | October 2018 Obinna 092 Nigeria are yet to effectively utilise the provisions of the Act in their practice of journalism. Further, University College London’s Constitution Unit (2009) conducted a research on the United Kingdom Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Journalists’ use of the Act. Equally, the study showed that Journalists in United Kingdom, though, happy to have Freedom of Information Act, find the response and appeal process frustrating. It further concluded there were significant disappointment with the operation of the Act, frustration centered on delays, liberal use of exemptions and longer periods of waiting during the internal review and appeal processes were also part of their findings. METHOD The study adopted qualitative research approach. Interview schedule was utilised to elicit responses from the CSOs. A sample size of 3 was drawn, purposively, from the population of registered CSOs in Lagos State, which according to the Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN) Report, stood at 30. The 3 CSOs purposively selected are CLO, MRA and SERAP. They were selected based on their contributions to the enthronement and enactment of a legal regime that encourages freedom of access to information. The national offices of the CSOs were contacted for the personal interview. Because, this is where to find the officers, who have the requisite information sought. At the respective national offices, the CSOs appointed representatives, were interviewed with questions from the interview schedule. DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS Response from the interview with the CSOs regarding to research question one: Table 1 show that the CSOs agreed that the FoIA and their individual use of it has improved access to information. Table 2 indicate that the CSOs have obtained information several times - 25 (SERAP), 11 (CLO) and 30 (MRA), respectively. It also shows that they cumulatively obtained information 66 times, out of which, 6 (3.9%) of the information were obtained within seven (7) days, as provided for by the FoIA in Section 4, while the rest (96.1%) of the information were obtained outside the time stipulated by the FoIA, Table 3 indicate that procedure for accessing information under the FoIA is difficult and challenging for the CSOs. Table 4 shows that the CSOs have been denied access to information severally. The table (table 5) indicated that the CSOs encountered challenges/difficulty in the utilization of the FoIA, but in diverse areas/form. DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS Findings showed that majority of the information accessed by the CSOs in Lagos State under the FoIA were accessed after the stipulated seven days period, provided in section 4 of the Freedom of Information Act 2011. It was also found that, cumulatively, the CSOs accessed information 66 times, in total (CLO – 11; SERAP – 25; and MRA - 30 times). This result indicates that, in practice, the public institutions, governments, and/or containers of information do not act in line with the provisions of the FoIA, particularly, as it relates to duration of time within which to release information requested by the requester. Instructively, this disobedience and gross breach of the FoIA, by implication, portends danger that has the capacity to discourage the CSOs, and the citizens, among others, from utilizing the FoIA for the benefit of the Nigerian State. It was also discovered, on the part of the CLO and SERAP, that the FoIA does not encourage immediate access to information. Again, this may be the resultant effect of late release of information or outside the stipulated time frame of within seven (7) days provided in FoIA. The findings also show that the FoIA has improved access to information amongst the CSOs, as well as, their respective individual use of the FoIA. This result tacitly tandems with the assertion of Adetokunbo Mumuni, SERAP’s Executive Director, who stated, after the judgment delivered by Justice Hadiza Shagari, (on application for release of information under the FoIA, directing the Federal Government of Nigeria to ‘publish the names of public officials from whom public funds were recovered since May 2015, and the circumstances under which the stolen public funds were returned), that “this judgment and the boldness exhibited by SERAP will, by extension, engender and improve access to information” (p.12) (New Telegraph, 16 July, 2016). In the same vein, Timothy Adewale, SERAP’s Deputy Director, also, stated in support that “the judgment shows the way forward in the fight against corruption and impunity of perpetrators” (Daily Post, July 6, 2017, p. 2). The implication of the above findings is that government agencies and parastatals do not release information requested within the stipulated timeframe of seven (7) days. And that this has the potency of discouraging utilisation of the FoIA for the purpose of accessing information. It also shows that, despite the positive response results, the CSOs are yet to significantly, reap the benefit from the struggle for a Freedom of Information Act. The findings showed that CSOs in Lagos state encountered challenges and difficulties, while utilising the FoIA. The CLO and SERAP identified release of information and procedure for accessing information under the FoIA as an area of difficulty in the utilization of the FoIA. This outcome is similar to the result generated by
  5. 5. Triple A Research Journal of Social Science and Humanity (JSSH) | Vol.2 No.3 | October 2018 093 Triple A Res. J. Soc. Sci. Human. Table 1: Improvement of Access to Information Question Response: SERAP CLO MRA 1. Has FoIA improved your access to information? SERAP – Yes CLO - Yes MRA - Yes 2. Has your use of the FoIA improved access to information SERAP – Yes CLO - Yes MRA - Yes Table 2: Duration of time expended in accessing or obtaining information Question Response: SERAP CLO MRA 3. Does FoIA encourage immediate access to information requested by your organization? SERAP – No CLO - No MRA - Yes 4. How long did it take your organization to obtain information through the use of the FoIA? SERAP – 7 times within 8 – 14 days, and 18 times after 20 days. CLO - 2 times - 4 -7 days; 2 times - 8 - 14 days; and 7 times after 20 days. MRA - Once 1 - 3 days; 3 times - 4 - 7days; 7 times - 8 - 14 days; 4 times - 15 – 20 days; and 15 times after 20 days. Table 3: Procedure for accessing of information under the FoIA Question Response: SERAP CLO MRA 5. Having accessed information under the FoIA severally how is the procedure for accessing information under FoIA? The CSOs – SERAP, CLO, and MRA quipped, affirmatively, that the procedure for accessing information under the FoIA is difficult and challenging. Table 4: Denial of access to information Question Response: SERAP CLO MRA 6. Have your organization been denied access to information upon request? SERAP – Yes CLO - Yes MRA - Yes 7. How many times have your organization been denied access to information? SERAP – 15 times CLO - 9 times MRA - 15 times
  6. 6. Triple A Research Journal of Social Science and Humanity (JSSH) | Vol.2 No.3 | October 2018 Obinna 094 Table 5: Aspects of the implementation of FoIA that poses a challenge and difficulty Question Response: SERAP CLO MRA 8. What are the challenges your organization have encountered in the use of the Freedom of Information Act 2011? SERAP – : Release of information, Procedure, Lack of records, Bulk passing by Federal and State governments, Official Secret Act, and Non- proactive disclosure. CLO - Release of information and Procedure MRA - Lack of specification of timeframe for the court to reach its decision; indefinite adjournments; Ignorance on the part of public officials; Lack of alternative mechanism; and Court process University College London Constitution unit (2009), particularly, in the area of procedure, which was, also, identified by that research as a challenge to journalists in United Kingdom on the application of their Freedom of Information Act. The researcher asserts that this seeming confusion in the Procedure and Release of information, may have been created to ensure that the CSOs do not encourage the citizens of Nigeria to attain what Amadi (2002) asserted as Lionising the ordinary citizens to the extent of causing a shift in the power base. Similarly, the CSOs also in unison, asserted that they have been denied access to information upon request several times. The CSOs, further identified the following respectively, as challenges encountered, while utilizing the FoIA: SERAP - Lack of records, Bulk passing by federal and state government, Official Secret Act, and Non- proactive disclosure; while MRA indicated that Lack of specification of time frame for the court to reach its decision, indefinite adjournments; Ignorance of public officials, Lack of alternative mechanism; and Court process. The above indicate, corroboratively, that the CSOs also encountered challenges, while utilizing the FoIA to access information. This finding corroborates some of the outcomes of the study conducted by University College London Constitution unit (2009), which also, identified several challenges encountered by journalists in United Kingdom, while utilizing the United Kingdom Freedom of Information Act. Also, in coterminous with one of the outcomes from the study by Job B. Guyson, Eric Dung Jamo, and Ismaila M. Yakubu, conducted in 2017, on the utilization of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, in Selected States of North Central Nigeria, which identified Official Secret Act, also identified by SERAP, one of the CSOs in this study, as a challenge in utilisation of the FoIA. This implies that the Official Secret Act – an Act that requires secrecy in government’s records or information, is still active and in operation. And serves as a challenge and hindrance to the effective utilization of the FoIA in Lagos state and North central region of Nigeria, despite section 28 of the FoIA, which rendered it impotent and subject to the provisions of the FoIA. These sieving-out or identification of the areas of difficulty/challenge made by the CSOs in Lagos state indicate a positive disposition towards utilization of the FoIA, but for the glitches inherent therein and stated above. These glitches outlined by the CSOs in Lagos state, may have stalled sensitization and mobilization of the people, and favourable public opinion towards the FoIA and its utilization. With a bid to achieving same effect asserted by Dominick (1999), in respect to the American Freedom of Information Act, “that the law gave the public the right to discover what the Federal government was up to” (p.438). The researcher further asserts that these challenges if not checked will reduce the FoIA to a ‘toothless bulldog’, an Act without the potency to surmount the onerous task of making information accessible to the people, and may enthrone what James Madison, quoted in Yalaju (2006:111), as “a popular government without a popular information or the means of acquiring it, is, but a prologue to a farce or tragedy or perhaps both”. These challenges and difficulties outline above, amongst others, may be, the reason for the snail-paced utilization of the FoIA. Further, if drastic efforts are not taken to ease-off these challenges identified by CSOs in Lagos state, it may discourage further utilization; defeat the aim for the struggle for the enactment of the FoIA, and by extension, leads to isolation of the FoIA. When this (isolation of the FoIA and its attendant result) becomes imperative and entrenched, it will hamper, annihilate, and deny citizens, germane information saliently required for nation-building; and for discussion at the public sphere. Furthermore, absence of these challenges and difficulties would enable and aid the CSOs to truly act in
  7. 7. Triple A Research Journal of Social Science and Humanity (JSSH) | Vol.2 No.3 | October 2018 095 Triple A Res. J. Soc. Sci. Human. line with Omede and Bakare (2014)’s definition of civil society groups and its roles in the society, particularly, in the developing nations, such as Nigeria: Civil society groups are agents of development in any nation. Civil society organizations appear to play important role in social, political and economic development activities. The transformation of any society or system, particularly the developing societies like Nigeria depend on the effectiveness and efficiency of its civil societies (p.211) CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS Based on the findings, the study concludes that the CSOs in Lagos state encountered challenges and difficulties in their quest to access information, through the FoIA. It, therefore, recommends that the difficulties and challenges identified by this study should be, urgently, presented or tabled before the appropriate quarters – Attorney general, who the law imbued with the supervisory function over the implementation of the FoIA; and to the National Assembly for amendment. Also, in amending the FoIA, the National Assembly should fix a timeframe for the court to reach its decision or give judgment regarding to the request for release of information under the FoIA, as this will curb or stem down unnecessary delays and adjournments in the court. Further, the study concludes that majority of the information accessed by the CSOs in Lagos state, were obtained outside the provisions of section 4 of the FoIA, which stipulates that information requested shall be released within seven (7) days. To this end, the researcher recommends that the National assembly should amend the FoIA, with a bid to providing punishment for refusal to release information and disobedience to stipulated timeframe within which to release information. REFERENCES Agbo BO (2015). Utilization of freedom of information act among print media journalists in Southeast, Nigeria. New Media and Mass Comm. 53: 63 – 74. Adetokunbo M (2016). Freedom of Information Act 2011, New Telegraph, Pp12. Amadi F (2002). Sites of struggle in Nigerian development. Port Harcourt: Communication Smart Publishing. Benhabib S (1992). Models of public space. In Calhoun, C. Habermas and the Public Sphere, Cambride mass: MIT Press, Pp.73 -98. Diamond L (1999). Developuing democracy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins. Dominick J (1999). The dynamics of mass communication, 6thed, Boston: McGraw Hill Company, USA. Ekuno M (2010). Reasons for non-implementation of freedom of information bill. The Punch Newspaper. Pp.12. Ene (2012). Cited in Ajah M (2013). Freedom of information and travails of Nigerian journalists. www.gamji.com/article9000/news9349.htm. Retrieved: 13 January 2018: Gyimah-Boadi E (2004). Democratic reform in Africa: The quality of progress. Boulder: Lynne Rienner. Habermas J (1962). The structural transformation of the public sphere: An inquiry into a category of bourgeios society. Thomas Burger, Cambridge MA: MIT Press, p.1. Hauser GA (1999). Vernacular voices: The rhetoric of publics and public spheres. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press. Pp.61. Jefferson T (1787). The Necessity of a Free Press. New York: Oxford University Press. Job G, Eric J, Ismaila M (2017). Utilization of the 2011 freedom of information act in selected states of North Central Nigeria, Idosr J. Arts and Manag. 12-32, 2017. McCreadie M, Rice R (2005). Information as useful data or a thing, J. Info. Manag. South Africa. 2(1): 45 - 55. Ndegwa S (1996). The two faces of civil society: NGOs and politics in Africa. West Hartford: Kumarian. Nigerian Freedom of Information Act 2011. Omede AJ, Bakare AR (2014). The impact of civil society organization on sustainable development in developing countries: Nigerian experience. An Int. Multidisc. J. Ethiopia. 8(1): 205 -227, Serial No. 32. Peterson C (2005). Development communication. Chicago: The Museum of Broadcast Communication. https//www.museum.tv/eotvsection.php?entryode=dev elopment, para.1-8 Retrieved: 13 January, 2018. Ruth A (2000). Freedom of Information in South Africa: A Conference Paper on FoI in Southern Africa. http:/www.article19.org. Retrieved on 27th February, 2018. Siebert FS, Peterson T, Schramm W (1956). Four theories of the press. Chicago: The University of Illinois Press. Timothy Adewale, Freedom Information Act 2011, Daily Post, July 6, 2017, p. 2. United Kingdom Royal Commission 2010 Report on Freedom of Information Act 2000. Yalaju, G. (2001). Media law. Port Harcourt: Minson publishers. Yohannes, D. (1997). Opening remark at a UNDP and UNECA sponsored regional consultation entitled “Building partnerships towards a common agenda for governance in Africa”, held in Addis Ababa 23-24 May 1997.

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