14 July 2014

Liberia: IIC Mandates LPRC to Comply

The Independent Information Commissioner has ordered the Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) to comply with the access to information request made to the LPRC by Mr. Roland Worwee.

Independent Information Commissioner Cllr. Mark Bedor-Wla Freeman, in his ruling Wednesday opined that the LPRC's basis for denying the information request was without legal support.

Cllr. Freeman noted that the LPRC's claim that Mr. Worwee would misuse the information when given to him was not recognizable under the access to information law.

He stated that allowing such a claim to stand would be in violation of Article 15 of the Liberian Constitution and constitute prior restraints on Mr. Worwee's right to free speech.

On August 5, 2013, Mr. Worwee, Publisher/CEO of the Corruption Watch Newspaper filed an access to information request with Mr. T. Nelson Williams, Managing Director of LPRC for documents relating to operations of the state owned company.

Among other things, Mr. Worwee's requested access to the LPRC's contract with Motherwell Bridge Limited (MBL), and information related to foreign travels of the managing director.

Speaking through his lawyer, Atty. Lamii Kpargoi, Mr. Worwee noted that the IIC's verdict was a victory for the fight for democracy, transparency and the right of all Liberians to be well informed.

Meanwhile, Mr. Williams through his lawyers announced his intention to appeal the IIC decision to the Civil Law Court of Montserrado County.


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