Author: Nigerian Institute Of Advanced Legal Studies
Category: LEGAL SYSTEM, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW & LEGAL DRAFTING
Date Published: Monday, 14-January-2019 2:58:09 PM
It was James Madison, the fourth President of the United States, an American statesman and political theorist who said in 1822 that…..“Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives. A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy or perhaps both”. Obviously, from Madison’s statement, it can be deduced that access to information is important to the legitimacy of democratically elected governments. Freedom of Information is a fundamental right and a critical element of all freedoms desired by humanity, this right fully supports the much talked about freedom of expression, which is impossible without the right to know or right to access public information’. The importance of the right to information have been recognized by numerous international legal instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa amongst others.