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Payment of Fees to Access Information is “Unreasonable” – Justice Professor Adjei, FGA

Justice Professor Sir Dennis Dominic Adjei, a Justice of the Court of Appeal and Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences has described the fees paid to access information as “unreasonable”.  According to the renowned judge, information should not be sold by the public to a person who requires it for educational or other purposes.

He said this on Thursday 5th May 2022 on the topic: The Parameters of Right to Information and its Impact on Ghana at the Annual Lectures in the Humanities hosted by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences.

He said the Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989) was subsequently enacted under Article 21(1)(f) of the Constitution to enforce the constitutional rights of the persons to access information from public institutions, private institutions, and organizations that receive public resources to perform public functions to make information which is accurate and authentic available to the people and the grounds upon which information may not be disclosed.

He added that for citizens to take part in the democratic process, Information must be made available to them, and a public officer cannot refuse the request to provide information unless that information is barred by law. Justice Professor Sir Dennis Dominic Adjei said “The Government is also required to make available to the people general information on governance as permitted by law. The Constitution of Ghana, 1992 requires the Government, public officers, and private institutions that receive public resources to perform public functions to disclose accurate and authentic information from their offices unless it is exempted by law” he mentioned.

He went further to say that persons who require public documents to be produced and tendered in court are permitted under article 135 of the Constitution of Ghana, 1992 except where their disclosure or production of their contents will be prejudicial to the security of the State or injurious to the public interest.

Justice Professor Sir Dennis Dominic Adjei answering the question of whether an aggrieved student has the right to request for answer sheet to ascertain if truly he failed said every student has the right to request marked answer sheets and it must be provided. If the student’s request is rejected, he has the right to go to the courts to compel the lecturer to provide the papers.

Emerita Prof. Elizabeth Ardayfio-Schandorf, FGA, former Vice President of the Academy’s Arts Section, presided over the lecture. In her remarks, she emphasized that, while we have the right to request information, there are rules we must follow.

Judges, lawyers, law students, and students from Achimota SHS and Presec Legon attended the lecture, which was accompanied by music from the Adehyeman Sacred Choral Choir. 

Please click the link to watch the full lecture –