Certificate of Proficiency in Digital Evidence & eDiscovery Law Practice in Nigeria

Weekly training modules are based on the textbook: DIGITAL EVIDENCE & eDISCOVERY LAW PRACTICE IN NIGERIA by the Convener of the course Emeka Arinze Esq, LLM, M.I.T (info-tech), CBSP (Certified Biometric & Surveillance Professional, CDEA (Certified Digital Evidence Analyst), CCI (Certified Cybercrime Investigator), CFP (Certified Forensic Professional).

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WEEK

30

5 hours to complete
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2011: Access to Information in the Age of Electronic Record. See Chapter 30 of the book for further reading

In order to make government at all levels accountable to the citizens, the citizens must enjoy a reasonable access to official documents. There is a growing recognition that the right to seek information includes a right of freedom of information, which till date remains one of the pillars of democracy in engendering openness in governance. In our contemporary society, constitutional democracy recognises the fact that Freedom of Information (FOI) is a basic democratic tenet. Article 19 of both the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provide that every person has a right to freedom of opinion and expression. This right includes freedom to hold opinion without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media, regardless of frontiers. It, therefore, becomes inevitable that legislation must be put in place by national governments to protect this right. It is generally believed amongst legal scholars that the spirit behind legislations towards freedom of information is driven by the fact that government and public bodies hold information for the public good and what they do is the public’s business, done on the public’s behalf.

After what seemed a tortuous journey of 17 years, Nigeria’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan on May 28, 2011. The FOIA, a watershed in Nigerian human rights jurisprudence, that places public interest above personal interest, radically altered, in a most fundamental way, how the three organs of government relate with the ordinary citizen.

There is no gainsaying that in today’s Internet age, the federal and state agencies are awash in electronic data. Not only are they constantly producing and collecting data, they, in some respects, are obligated to retain just about everything in electronic form. As data roams across agency networks, the volume of relevant data becomes inevitably huge, both in the Cloud and social media channels. The Nigeria FOI Act recognises that requested records, documents or information may be stored by government agencies and public institutions in an accessible manner, irrespective of the format including written, visual images (videos), sound, audio recording, databases, emails, office notebooks, photographs, etc., while ensuring the proper organisation and maintenance of all such information in its custody in a manner that facilitates easy public access to such information. It cannot be over-emphasised that the manner that facilitates public access to information in current dispensation is through the Internet and various computing devices.

The Focus of this Weekly Module

eDiscovery and FOIA requests involve obtaining electronic documents and using technology to review and produce the data. How is this achieved, is the essence of this weekly focus.

Gains and Benefit

On completion of the lecture as espoused in the video, reading activity, quiz and assessment, you will be able to understand:

  • historical development of freedom of information;
  • the enactment of Nigeria’s freedom of information act (FOIA);
  • the obligation of states to enforce the freedom of information act (FOIA);
  • the use of technology in access and response to request under the FOI act with a view to managing its eDiscovery process.
1 Video (Total 20 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz, 1 assignment SEE ALL
1 video
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2011
1 readings
Module Guide
1 quiz
Activity - Answer a 30 min question & answer test
1 assignment
Assignment title goes here