By Chineme OkaforÂ in Abuja
The controversy surrounding Nigeriaâ€™s concession of Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) and National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO) to Indian firm,Â Global Infrastructure Holding Limited (GIHL),Â on FridayÂ assumed a fresh dimension when a group of relevant metallurgical unions in the country filed a case in the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly hoarding an interim investigative report on the operations of GIHL in the two national assets.
According to the court papers with suit number: FHC/Abj/CS/674/17, the unions comprising Nigerian Metallurgical Society, AfricanÂ Iron and Steel Association (AISA), Steel and Engineering Workers Union of Nigeria, and Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, and their attorneys, Sulaiman Abduraheem and Natasha Akpoti, asked the court to mandate the EFCC to release to them certified true copies of its past investigation on GIHL’s operations in NIOMCO and ASCL, as ordered by late President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua in 2008.
Provided to THISDAY in Abuja, the court order was served on EFCC, with their prayers including a request on it to immediately provide the plaintiff copies of its investigations on GIHL, as well as pay the sum of N500,000 for initially denying its request for the investigative report in contravention of Section 21 of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act.
The group noted that it made the request to EFCC on June 13, 2017, but the anti-graft agency refused to provide it the requested report.Â
It also claimed that in its reluctance, the EFCC rather asked it to drop the case on the grounds that it was old and perhaps stale.Â