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General News of Saturday, 30 September 2017


Parliament urged to urgently pass Right to Information Bill

Nana Akwasi Awuah, Founding Member of Citizen Ghana Movement, a pressure group, has called on Members of Parliament (MP) to as a matter of urgency pass the Right To Information (RTI) bill to help fight corruption.

He said the bill, if passed into law would empower Ghanaians to demand for accountability and transparency, and promote access to information that could help curb corrupt practices in the country.

Nana Akwasi Awuah made this call at a public forum organised by the Coalition on the Right To Information, Ghana; to mark the International Day for Universal Access to Information under the theme: “Access to Information in Ghana: A myth or a reality”.

He said at Citizen Ghana Movement, when the bus-branding scandal came up there were lots of reportage in the media giving different account so they were clear as to what actually were the real facts with regards to the contract sums, and if it went through competitive tendering before it was awarded or sole sourced.

The Founding Member of Citizen Ghana Movement said the Group needed that information, however, they were not given so they proceeded to court; and one of the arguments the Attorney General put up was that they needed a Right to Information law to be able to access that information.

He explained that the pressure group also countered that argument; declaring that article 21 (1f) of the 1992 constitution already guarantees a constitutional right to information and therefore the absence of the RTI law should not operate to deny citizens the right to information.

Nana Akwasi Awuah said the court agreed with their position and made a pronouncement that, the failure on the part of the state to pass that important legislation does not deny us the right to access information; as it is already guaranteed by article 21 (1f) of the constitution.

He, therefore, called on the media to play a critical role in sensitizing people on their right to information; to be responsible citizens and as well contribute to good governance.