MMDCEs get assurance that RTI law is not a factor of intrusion

By
Rosemary Wayo, GNA

Tamale (N/R), Dec 3,
GNA – Municipal and Metropolitan District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in the
Northern region have been assured of the benefits of the Right To Information
Law (RTI) in their work, and not an instrument created to intrude their work.

The RTI law was
explained as not intrusive, but one that made room for access to accurate and
reliable information that would stop people from misleading society with
information from unknown sources.

Mr Samson Lardy
Anyenini, a Lawyer at A-Partners of law, gave this assurance at a forum
organised by Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) in Tamale, aimed at
educating the MMDCEs on the RTI law and their respective roles in its
implementation.

According to him, it
was necessary to educate MMDCEs,as they were trustees of power who ought to be
part of the governance process and as figures who added up in promoting
democracy.

He mentioned that
the MMDCEs were major beneficiaries of the law as public duty bearers and said
information would be accessed formally from them and prevent suspicions, and
avoid speculations mistaken for facts.

He however advised
the MMDCEs against attempts to alter, conceal or damage documents, willingly
disclosing exempt information and failure to comply to sections of the law and
warned that it constituted gross misconduct and punishable by law.

Mr Salifu Saeed, the
Northern Regional Minister, said it was important for the RTI law to be
considered a positive introit to guide against victims of irresponsible
behaviour.

He urged the MMDCEs
to discuss it with their constituents to sensitise them on it, adding that
“ignorance of the law is no excuse”.

The RTI law is meant
to complement human rights provisions enshrined in the country’s constitution
to foster transparency and accountability, and has made protective provisions
for information holders and officers.

The law in part
holds that an information officer is not liable to any action, claim, suit or
demand whether criminal or Civil, for an omission or action, in the cause of
duty, provided the information was compliant with law.

GNA

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