Founding member of Citizen Ghana Movement, Mr Nana Akwasi Awuah, has called on the NPP government to pass the Right to Information bill (RTI) to empower Ghanaians to demand accountability and transparency.
He made this plea at a public forum organized by the coalition on the Right To Information Ghana to mark the International Day for Universal Access to Information on the theme: ‘Access to Information in Ghana: a myth or a reality.’
He said , when the bus branding scandal came up, there were a lot of reportage in the media giving different account, so citizens were not clear as to what was actually the real facts, what the contract sums were, how much was paid through competitive tendering before it was awarded or sole sourced.
‘’We needed that information, however we were not given so we proceeded to court and one of the arguments the Attorney General put up was that we needed the Right to Information law to have access to that information.”
The counter argument of the Citizen Ghana Movement was that, “article 21(1F) of the 1992 constitution already guarantees a constitutional right to information and therefore the absence of the right to information law which has been in parliament for the past seventeen years should not deny the citizens the right to information” he added.
The court agreed to this position and made a pronouncement that, the failure of the state to pass that very important legislation does not deny the citizens the right to information and that it is already constitutional guaranteed by article 21(1F) of the 1992 constitution.
He therefore pleaded with the media to sensitize people on their right to information so that citizens can contribute to good governance. Public Agenda has been leading the campaign in the media to have Parliament pass the RTI Bill as a matter of urgency.
By: Latifa Carlos