General News of Tuesday, 23 August 2016
The New Patriotic Party says the governing National Democratic Congress choreographed and orchestrated the release of three persons jailed for scandalising the court.
Director of Communications of the party, Nana Akomea says the decision by cabinet ministers to join footsoldiers in signing the petitions for the release of the three persons were all part of the orchestration.
He was reacting to the decision by the president to remit the four month sentence handed to the host of Pampaso program on Montie FM, Salifu Maase and two other panelists Alistair Nelson and Godwin Ako-Gunn.
The three, with brazen bravado, threatened to kill judges who sat on a case brought against the Electoral Commission by the National Youth Organiser of the People’s National Convention (PNC) Abu Ramadan. They also threatened to rape the Chief Justice Georgina Wood who was the chair of the panel that sat on the case.
When they were hauled before the court for contempt, the three and the directors of Montie FM pleaded guilty for scandalising the court and were duly sentenced.
The three main contemnors were each slapped with a ¢10,000 fine in addition to the sentence. But critics most of whom belonged to the governing National Democratic Congress described the judges’ decision as harsh.
They began a petition signing campaign requesting the president to activate his powers of mercy under Article 72 and free the contemnors.
Lawyers of the contemnors, party footsoldiers, ministers and deputy ministers all joined in the fray to sign the petition after which it was handed to the president who also forwarded it to the Council of State for advice.
On Monday, August 22, 2016, a statement was released by the Communications Minister Dr Omane Boamah announcing the decision by the president to remit the four month sentence of the contemnors who had only served a month.
Nana Akomea told Joy News the president set out to free these contemnors from the very beginning. He added that the decision is a bad precedent by the president.
“These people have been removed from prison basically because they are NDC. President Mahama has chosen to exercise his power of mercy on the basis of partisan consideration. And it is unfortunate,” he said.
But the People’s National Convention welcomed the decision by the president.
Chairman of the party Bernard Mornah told Joy News the president’s decision was on compassionate grounds and it is acceptable.
He said the decision by judges of the Supreme Court was harsh even though the party disapproves of the conduct of the three.
He said “this is not a full pardon. They still carry with them a tag of ex-convicts but i think it will go a long way to bring some smiles on the faces of their families and also to ensure that they are guided in their commentary.”