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Police block journalists from Parliament over RTI bill

October 31, 2018

By Papisdaff Abdullah

Police in Ghana’s Parliament has foiled attempts by the Media Coalition on the Right to Information Bill to storm the house and register their displeasure over failure to pass the bill into law.

The journalists clad in RTI t-shirts were confronted by police officers manning the lawmaking chamber who demanded that they provide evidence of their permit to allow them on the premises.

A member of the Steering Committee of the Media Coalition on the Right to Information Elvis Darko said: “One of our colleagues the police accosted him. I was there and we had a confrontation and they say we should go to their police post here to sort out the issue.”

The RTI bill was laid before Parliament by the Deputy Attorney General Joseph Kpemka Dindiok in March this year.

It has been 22 years since the first RTI bill was drafted under the auspices of the Institute of Economic Affairs, IEA and 16 years since the Executive arm of government in 2002 drafted the first RTI bill.

The draft Executive Bill was subsequently reviewed in 2003, 2005 and 2007 but was never laid in Parliament until February 5, 2010.

The Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) earlier this month accused the governing New Patriotic Party and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) of colluding against the Right to Information (RTI) bill.

“…If there’s one, or two or three things that the two main political parties [NPP and NDC] align, agree to, then, it is this RTI that they don’t want. I think that’s what it is,” the Deputy Director of the CDD Dr Franklin Oduro who is also the CDD’s Head of Research and Program said at a roundtable discussion on METOGU anti-corruption report in Accra.

“My own view is that these two parties have demonstrated that they don’t want the RTI. So there’s no blame game between them, the NDC and the NPP,” he added.

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