House of Representatives yesterday in plenary urged the Federal Government to publish in the official gazette of the federation except for information restricted by law the handover notes of the immediate past government of President Goodluck Jonathan to enable Nigerians access the information for record purpose and know the state of the nation.
In a motion entitled “Need for Publication of the Handover Note of the Administration of Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in the Official Gazette of the Federation” raised by Hon. Uzoma Nkem – Abonta on the floor of the House noted that the Hand-Over Notes Captures activities, projects, programmes, achievements of the last Administration, including counsel to the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration on the way forward.
According to him, due to the legal restrictions, it is apparent that that only officials of the Presidency may have access to it adding that the Hand Over note is a public document whereby some extant laws my place restriction on the publication of some documents.
Nkem – Abonta argued members of the National Assembly, most of whom are new to the legislative business, require authentic information to ascertain the actual state of the nation, without which they may not be able to perform their legislative functions effectively.
He explained that there the need to maintain the integrity of the Handover note for reference purposes and to enable interested individuals or group of persons to verify the authenticity of the contents of the document.
The law maker added that the publication of the document will encourage and empower ordinary Nigerians to actively monitor activities of the government. Leading the debate Nkem – Abonta said, “we need the handover note not to verify the claims in different quarters on various issues.
“The reason, the spirit of the motion is in line with the transparency of President Muhammadu Buhari”. On the contrary, Hon. Pally Iriase argued that anyone who has a specific interest should use the Freedom of Information Act to access the Handover notes. According to him, the motion was not necessary due to its sensitive nature and it should be thrown out.
– Dyepkazah Shibayan, Abuja