General News of 2018-01-13

RTI Bill must be passed for Special Prosecutor to be effective - Asiedu Nketia

General Secretary of the opposition, National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia has brought to light the fact that in order for the Special Prosecutor to act effectively, the Right to Information Bill has to be passed. In an interview with Ghanaweb TV, Mr Nketia disclosed that in order to prosecute people especially those in the sitting government, there must be a way of finding equal access to information; “When you want to do things differently, to prosecute people in government when they are in government, we must find a way of having equal access to information in government.” He continued by saying that previous governments can be prosecuted since the present government may possess all documents pertaining to information needed but on the other hand, the past government cannot prosecute the present government because information pertaining to their prosecution is accessible to those in power is accessible to them only. “Because when you are prosecuting people of a past government, you are now in government so you have access to all the information in the government books but prosecuting current members of government, nobody else has access to information apart from the sitting government." He therefore called on the need for the passage of RTI Bill; “That is why wherever you have the special prosecutor thing, you must have the freedom of information law in the first place for other people who are not in government to access information that will help you to proceed against people who are currently in government so that they cannot cover information and hide information from parliament, and from individuals and from anti-corruption institutions.” The General Secretary of the NDC added that if the bill is fast-tracked it would display Government’s preparedness to fight corruption; “So I expect the government to re-introduce the bill quickly and let it pass even if it has to go under Certificate of Urgency, it has to be fast tracked so that we will be convinced about the preparedness and the resolve of the government to deal with corruption. If it ends like this and there is no freedom of information law, it will compromise the effectiveness of the Special Prosecutor.” Source: ghanaweb.com
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