The Press and Freedom of Information in Nigeria and the United States of America: An Analysis
International Journal of Law and Society
Volume 1, Issue 1, March 2018, Pages: 24-33
Received: Nov. 6, 2017; Accepted: Nov. 23, 2017; Published: Dec. 24, 2017
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Obinna Johnkennedy Chukwu, Department of Linguistic and Communication Studies, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
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Freedom of information is germane to a free state, and, often, seen as the bulwark for democracy. It obliterates secrecy, and by extension, engenders the culture of openness in government. This can only be possible where there is a clear-cut law or legislation that guarantees or extends the freedom to elicit, access/or obtain and disseminates government-held information without let or hindrance. In Nigeria and United States of America (US), these laws: Freedom of Information Act 2011 and Freedom of Information Act 1966, respectively, exist, with a singular purpose of engendering freedom of information. This study critically examined these laws with the aim of sieving-out, comparing and deciphering the similarities, differences, flaws and the likely effects it has on the two countries. From the analysis, the laws have similar exemptions, but dissimilar, among others, in the institutions and offices to be covered by the Act. Similarly, It was also observed that press freedom and freedom of information are greatly enhanced in the United State of America than in Nigeria. Furthermore, the study showed that the Executive Orders, randomly, promulgated and enacted by the successive presidents of the United States of America serve as impediments to freedom of information in the United States of America. However, despite the above, extant literature revealed that the United State of America’s society is more predisposed to freedom of information than the Nigerian society. This is seen in the decided cases, several laws, enactments and amendments so far made on and in response to the Freedom of Information Act 1966. Amongst other, it is recommended that the US Congress should amend and enact a law banning and/or restricting issuance of Executive Order. Similarly, the Nigerian National Assembly should, as well, repeal the Official Secret Act of 1976.
The Press, Freedom of Information, Freedom of Information Act
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Obinna Johnkennedy Chukwu, The Press and Freedom of Information in Nigeria and the United States of America: An Analysis, International Journal of Law and Society. Vol. 1, No. 1, 2018, pp. 24-33. doi: 10.11648/j.ijls.20180101.14
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