CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1. 1BACKGROUND OF STUDY In a nation there are some fundamental elements that demonstrate the true existence of certain rights in such a society and these go a long way in showing that it is truly developed in every sense of the word. The level of a nation’s “maturity” depends on how well it fulfils these elements, one of which is Freedom of information. A government ought to be accountable to its people. Freedom of information has two sides namely, the freedom to convey information, and the freedom to access information.
As such, it consists of press freedom and freedom to access any information by the general public. According to Hughes “the concept of freedom refers to a certain type of political empowerment. It refers specifically to equal empowerment. In other words, a free society is one with an equal distribution of legal rights and in which each and every person has as much legal rights as possible ” (Hughes. , 2007). And the Oxford dictionary goes on to say define information as “Knowledge communicated concerning some particular fact, subject or event; that of which one is apprised or told; intelligence, news”.
Freedom of information simply put, gives you the right to ask any public body for all the information they have on any subject you choose (“Freedom of information,” 2001). Having listened to so much talk about “freedom of information” it is indeed pertinent to carefully and deliberately look into the likely objects of the government at different stages or rather eras of press freedom in Nigeria and express likely views on the issue.
The study will also outline importance of freedom of information, consequences and eventual support for or disapproval of freedom of information in the society, making comparisons of this in both military and civilian regimes from Nigeria’s independence till date. This will be the rationale of this study. According to article 19 of the universal human rights, every person has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, to hold opinions without interference and to convey or access information through any media. This study seeks to investigate the practice of this in Nigeria, at different points in time. . 2OBJECTIVES OF STUDY The major objectives of this research as previously mentioned in the background of study are: 1. To outline the freedom of information at different stages in Nigeria – the past, the present and the future of freedom of information going forward. 2. To look at the metamorphosis of freedom of information in Nigeria from its independence in 1960 till date. 3. To research and discuss the likely developments to be expected in this regard as well as where we are with freedom of information and bills being worked on. 4.
To tender likely solutions to the problems and limitations of Freedom of information in Nigeria. 1. 3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: The study is focused on exploring the how freedom to convey, air and publish views or information affected us in the past, and how it has affected our growth as a nation. It also seeks to pin point the state of things with regards to the research topic, as well as prospects for the future. 1. 4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS The research will answer the following questions: •What was the state of freedom of information in the country during the early stages of our independence? What was the state of freedom of information in the military era? •What was the implication of the level of freedom of information on the nation during that era? •What has been the state of freedom of information during the civilian era? •How has the state of freedom of information affected the growth of Nigeria as a nation? •What is the current state of freedom of information in the country? •What are the prospects and solutions to problems with freedom of information? 1. 5SCOPE OF STUDY
The study will examine freedom of information under press freedom and freedom of access to information by the public. It will examine this under such eras as, the military and civilian eras and will weigh the progress made over time, as well as make comparisons of both periods. The study will also outline the steps taken for or against the freedom of information with regards to press freedom and accessibility to information by the different administrations. It will examine the ways in which the government has affected freedom of information and how this has affected or will affect our growth as a nation. . 6RESEARCH METHODOLOGY This research will make use of both primary and secondary sources of information. The primary sources to be used will include the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, statute books, law reports, journals as well as other relevant materials, pertaining to freedom of information. The secondary sources to be used are texts and other online materials written within and outside the country, dictionaries and other materials that will aid in answering the research questions. . 7LITERATURE REVIEW The literature to be reviewed includes a number of journals, texts, as well as scholarly articles which are relevant to the study. The study seeks to develop on previous works by different authors and scholars. 1. 8CONCLUSION The study should conclusively after considering the pros and cons as well as development and implications of freedom of information fall in tune with the agitation of freedom of information or agree that indeed a limit should be rested on.
It will also arrival on conclusions on the stand of the government, the press and the people on press freedom as well as solutions proffered to the problems of freedom of information. Work Cited Sveiby , K. (1994, October). Information in etymology. Retrieved from http://www. sveiby. com/articles/Information. html Freedom of information. (2001, SEPMTEMBER). Retrieved from http://www. direct. gov. uk/en/governmentcitizensandrights/yourrightsandresponsibilities/dg_4003239 Hughes. , S. (2007, May). What freedom means to me. Retrieved from http://onlinephilosophyclub. com/definition-of-freedom. php