Two lawyers, Messrs Monday Ubani and John Nwokwu, have threatened to drag minister of transport, Rotimi Amaechi to court if he fails to make available the contract papers for the controversial rail line project between Kano and Maradi in the Niger Republic, recently approved by the government of president Muhammadu Buhari at a cost of $1.9bn.
It is a Freedom of Information, FOI, request dated September 29, in which the lawyers gave Amaechi seven days to provide the said papers with “the detailed economic benefit of the rail line project” to the generality of Nigerians, or face a lawsuit.
The request was made on behalf of the two lawyers by their counsel, Joseph Igwe. They demanded “the actual contract cost of the rail; the awarded contract document(s), name of the firm and procedure of the award of the contract to the preferred firm; detailed information on where it is provided for in the 2020 Appropriation Act and the source of the generation of the fund for the contract.”
Igwe added, “Our clients shall pay the necessary fees for the information. Be notified that if you fail to provide the above information within the period stipulated by law, we shall proceed against you in accordance with the provisions of the law.
“We have no doubt that you will accede to this request in the interest of the nation you are serving meritoriously.”
Efforts to get Mr. Amaechi’s response were fruitless as at the time of filing this report.
Mainstream Nigerians had taken to social media to criticize the building of a rail line from Kano to a town in Niger Republic when thee are no rail connections to major commercial cities in Nigeria, such as Aba and Onitsha.