Smarttys saga: High court ruling constitutes right to information law – Kofi Bentil

Smarttys saga: High court ruling constitutes right to information law – Kofi Bentil
Source: Ghana | | Austin Brako-Powers | Email:
Date: 13-04-2016 Time: 06:04:42:pm

Vice-President of IMANI Ghana, Kofi Bentil, says the Accra High Court ruling ordering the government to make its contract with Smarttys Production available to pressure group, Citizen Ghana “constitutes the right to information law in this country”.

He said the court’s ruling has made it clear how citizens could be able to access information from government officials in the face of opposition.

The Human Rights Court on Wednesday, April 13 gave its ruling on the controversial case brought by the Citizen Ghana asking it to compel the government to make public its contract with Smarttys Production over the 116 branded Metro Mass buses.

Branded Metro Mass bus

Delivering the judgement, Justice Anthony Yeboah said citizens are entitled to access information from the government.

He said the bus branding is a matter of public interest and members of the public have every right to request for information.

Mr. Yeboah ordered the Attorney-General (A-G), who is the respondent, to give all the documents on the bus branding except documents regarding trade secrets, and national defense to the group.

A-G, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong

He further ordered that all questions posed by the group must be answered within 14 days of service of the entry of judgment. 

Speaking on the Joy FM’s Top Story, Mr. Bentil said the Judge’s ruling helps to remind public officials that they are responsible to the public in what they do.

He said the nature of the ruling gives the group an opportunity to ask all relevant questions regarding how the Smarttys contract was awarded and if it was done in conformity with the procurement law of the country.

Mr. Bentil remarked the group has no problem with Smarttys Production, adding the group has a problem with public officials who signed the contract.