Private Legal Practitioner, Martin Kpebu, has stated that the practice of government officials tagging certain public interest information as a matter of national security is disingenuous and should be rejected.
According to him, a lot of information government officials tag as national security tends to be issues of public interest and are thus, simply an attempt to prevent the general public from accessing certain information the government believes may be injurious to its reputation.
His comments were in reaction to the Minister of Finance’s decision not to reveal the amount of money spent on the President’s luxurious jet travels to France and two other countries.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta stated that the National Security Minister is best placed to give the needed details of the cost of President Akufo-Addo’s recent trips to France, Belgium, and South Africa.
This, he said, is because the President’s travels fall within the remit of national security.
However, Martin Kpebu believes aside from the security arrangement of the Presidential travel, nothing else should fall within the remit of national security.
“Not at all, I don’t see. No matter how far you try to stretch it, it won’t. It doesn’t at all,” he said.
“I have read cases on national security because of some research I am doing, so please this mantra people have been bandying around that at the mention of national security we should shy, please it won’t wash anymore.
“We’re doing more research into that area and so I think they should find bigger reasons or better reasons,” he added.
He explained that “If he [Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP for North Tongu] had said he wants details about how the President’s security was arranged in the travel and all that, then that one we say no because somebody getting those details can use that to compromise the President’s security. But far from it, this one is just about how much was spent.”