CERSL Trains Online Media Practitioners On Ways To Access FOI


Nov 4, 2023


…Says Registration with CAC gives credibility to online publishing outfit


By Ifeayinwa Onyenweli

The Deputy Executive Director of Civil Empowerment and Rule of Law Support Initiative, (CERLSI), Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku has revealed ways Freedom of Information (FOI) can be accessed seemlessly by investigative Reporters when in search of facts.

While speaking he said, if letters seeking for information under FOI are not properly addressed , it could lead to denial of such information.

He stated this while addressing online reporters in a one day capacity training held in Benin City.

MajiriOghene stressed on the need for online journalists to register their outfit with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) ensuring all necessary requirements that qualifies the outfit to be a legal entity are met.

MajiriOghene further advised that the Freedom of Information Letter to public and private institutions in Nigeria are not written like any other letters, rather , certain features are necessary or else would be denied.

Welcoming participants to the maiden seminar on the essentials of writing a freedom of information letter to public and private institutions in Nigeria, the Deputy Executive Director of CERLSI noted that there were reports that online and mainstream journalist had difficulties with accessing government information, and this is in spite of the reported interest of most subnational governments like Edo in the Open Government Partnership, OGP, thematic areas of zero tolerance to corruption, citizen participation in governance and access to information.

While emphasizing the key role that journalists, especially online and freelance journalists can play in interrogating infractions in governance, MajiriOghene advised that to do this within the ambit of the law, and avoid issues related to fake news, misinformation, disinformation and unnecessary media censorship with responsible reportage of news-related stories and investigations, this FOI seminar becomes relevant.

He urged online and freelance journalist to strategically positioned themselves so as to engage state actors to make requests that will lead to promoting, free, fair and credible elections in Edo state and Nigeria in general.

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