The Center for Media Studies and Peacebuilding (CEMESP) has filed a Freedom of Information Request to Army Chief of Staff Daniel D. Ziankahn for a copy of the investigative report relating to the August 20th shooting incident in West Point to be disclosed to the Public domain in allaying the rumour mill that has greeted the failure to make it public.
CEMESP is of the view that the issue is human rights related which cannot be shrouded in secrecy on the basis of exemption clauses as contained in the FOI Act 2010.
Executive Director Malcolm Joseph therefore entreats the army leadership to respect the dictate of law and disclose the said report within statutory period. He argued that where secrecy is allowed to cloud the said report, conspiracy theories and falsehood will dim whatever good intention the army leadership is predisposed to in instilling discipline in the new army.
President Sirleaf recently forwarded the report to Brigadier General Ziankahn. This followed the submission of said report by the Board of Inquiry appointed by government to probe the incident which resulted into the injury of a teenager and the death of another teenager Shaki Kamara.
CEMESP says the failure of government to make public the findings of the report is a violation of the public’s right to know especially the residents of West Point who have borne the greatest brunt of the August 20th shooting.
CEMESP has questioned President Sirleaf’s decision to have the Independent National Human Rights Commission conduct a parallel investigation into the August 20th incident as though the there is credibility crisis in what has been released.
Malcolm Joseph says this action amount to misuse of scarce resources as it is a duplication of function, which is ill timed.