Shocking! NNPCL Turns Down FOI Request On Staff, Asabe Waziri. Who Bought Multi-Million Naira Property In Abuja, Lagos

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Shocking! NNPCL Turns Down FOI Request On Staff, Asabe Waziri
Who Bought Multi-Million Naira Property In Abuja, Lagos

…says personal details of staff not discloseable

In a rare and shocking manner, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has turned down a Freedom Of Information, FOl, reqeuest regarding employment status and alleged multi-million naira property acquisition by a staff of the company, Ms. Asabe Waziri.

In its reply, the company said the personal inflation of nuts staff is not discloseable.

NNPCL, through its counsel, Chief Afe Babalola, SAN, in its reply dated April 22, 2024 to an FOI request by Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, said, “Accordingly, we regret our client’s inability to accede to your demand for the requested information. Our client, with this, outrightly rejects your request.”

In the FOI request, HURIWA had sought to know the following:
The current employment status of Ms. Waziri with NNPC Limited, including her position, department, and any relevant employment records, her salaries and benefits date of enlistment with any records indicating her length of service.

Other information sought by HURIWA include, acquisition of property: clarification on how Ms. Waziri, as a public servant, allegedly acquired two units of residential property (specifically, units 3B and 3C, Abbey Signature Apartments, 1 Mekong Close, Maitama Abuja FCT) valued at N260 million and the verification of the allegation that Ms. Waziri made a purchase of a prized housing asset in Lagos and information regarding any additional actions or disciplinary measures taken by NNPCL.

In its response, the company said, “Having reviewed your request, we invite you to please note that our client has ceased to be subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2011 (FOIA) following the coming into force of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, by which the erstwhile Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (the Corporation), which was a public institution, transited to a limited liability company upon the registration of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) under the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020. Thus, our client is not obligated to respond to demands for information under the FOIA. Be that as it may, our client highlights the following in the interest of due process and transparency: i. The information listed as items 1 to 4 are exempted from the application of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011. Section 14 (1)(b) of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011 reads: “…a public institution must deny an application for information that contains .ersonal in ormation and in ormation exem ted under this subsection includes – @) -ersonnel ‘les and 22 onal in ormation maintained with res .. ct to employees, appointees or elected officials of any public institution or applicants for such positions,”

“As information regarding the salaries, salary scale, benefits, benefits package, additional compensation from our client, date of enlistment position, department, acquisition of property, and any relevant employment records are employees‘ personal information in personnel files, our client must deny your request.

“Furthermore, information regarding any additional actions or disciplinary measures taken by our client concerning its staff is not disclosable under the Freedom of Information Act 2011. Please see Section 12 (1) (a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, which prohibits the release of information in relation to records compiled by the institution for administrative enforcement proceedings or internal matters. It provides that: “12. (1) A public institution may deny an application for any information which contains(a) Records compiled by any public institution for administrative enforcement proceedings and by any law enforcement or correctional agency for law enforcement purposes or for internal matters of a public institution…”

“As our client is not a party to the alleged suit(s) and dispute between Ms Waziri, Abbey Signature Limited, or any other person, it will not get involved in any matter(s) arising from or connected to the dispute.”

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