Grounds for Denial of Freedom of Information Request
Below are the grounds for which a request made under a Freedom of Information Act can be denied in Nigeria. The majority of the grounds are contained in Sections 11-19 Freedom of Information Act:
- Where the disclosure of the information may be injurious to the conduct of International Affairs and the defence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
- Disclosure that would interfere with pending or actual and reasonably contemplated law enforcement proceedings conducted by any law enforcement or correctional agency,
- Disclosure that would interfere with pending administrative enforcement proceedings conducted by any public institution,
- Disclosure that would deprive a person of a fair trial or an impartial hearing,
- Disclosure that would unavoidably disclose the identity of a confidential source, Disclosure that would constitute an invasion of personal privacy
- Disclosure that would obstruct an on-going criminal investigation
- Information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to be injurious to the security of penal institutions.
- Information that could reasonably be used to facilitate the commission of an offence
- Information that contains personal information (except where the individual consents to the release of his/her personal information or the information is already publicly available)
- Trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person or business where such trade secrets or information are proprietary, privileged or confidential, or where disclosure of such trade secrets or information may cause harm to the interests of the third party
- Information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to interfere with the contractual or other negotiations of a third party;
- Proposal and bids for any contract, grants, or agreement, including information which if it were disclosed would frustrate procurement or give an advantage to any person.
- Requests which fall under professional privileged information e.g. lawyer-client, doctor-patient etc.
- Application for information, which contains course or research materials prepared by faculty members.
- Application for information that contains information pertaining to test questions, scoring keys and other examination data used to administer an academic examination or determine the qualifications of an application for a license or employment;
- Application for information that contains information pertaining to architects’ and engineers’ plans for buildings not constructed in whole or in part with public funds and for buildings constructed with public funds, to the extent that disclosure would compromise security;
- Application for information that contains information pertaining to library circulation and other records identifying library users with specific materials:
If you would like to know more about the provisions of the Act, you may review the Act here – Freedom Of Information Act 2011
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