Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the minister of finance, has been served a Notice of Consequences of disobedience to court order by the Federal High Court, Abuja.
She may be facing a contempt charge for refusing to honour a judgement delivered by the court in respect of a suit filed by the Centre for Social Justice.
The court, through an order of mandamus dated February 25, 2014, had compelled Okonjo-Iweala to grant the group access to details of the statutory transfers in the 2013 Appropriation Act.
The group had demanded for a breakdown of the lump sums earmarked in the 2013 budget as statutory transfers.
These include the N150bn for the National Assembly, N85bn for the National Judicial Council, N54bn for the Niger Delta Development Commission, N68bn for the Universal Basic Education, and N40bn for Independent National Electoral Commission.
Justice Abdul Kafarati had on February 25 granted the relief that denying the applicant access to the details of the statutory transfers in the 2013 Appropriation Act by the respondent without explanation constituted an infringement s right as guaranteed and protected by Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act, FOI 2011.
The court also declared that the continued refusal of the respondents to grant the applicant access to details of the statutory transfers in the 2013 Appropriation Act despite the applicant’s demand violated Section 4 of the FOI Act.
Lead Director, Centre for Social Justice, Mr. Eze Onyekpere, on Wednesday in Abuja, affirmed the notice on the minister, saying:
“Since the order was made, the minister has refused and neglected to comply with the order of the honourable court. Series of meetings were held in the minister’s office without success. With this notice, the minister has two days to comply with the order of the honourable court or risk being committed for contempt of court.”