General News of Monday, 22 August 2016
A former President of Greater Accra Bar Association has expressed grave disappointment in President John Mahama for remitting the jail terms of convicted Montie 3.
Frank Davies believes the decision, which was taken in consultation with the Council of State, exposes the dishonesty of politicians in the Ghana.
“I want to hide my disappointment [because] I am saddened. I didn’t think this was a decision the President should necessarily have exercised. This exposes the dishonesty in the political discourse of the country and we are creating a situation where everybody convicted will be pushing their lawyer to petition the President to pardon them,” he told Dzifa Bampoh, host of Joy FM’s Newsnite programme.
“He pardoned them because of their NDC link which is wrong,” he added.
President Mahama, on Monday, granted remission of the sentence of a journalist, Salifu Maase popularly known as Mugabe and two radio panelists; Alistair Tairo Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn who are serving four months jail each for contempt of court.
A statement signed by the Communications Minister, Dr Omane Boamah said “The President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama has, in consultation with the Council of State and in an exercise of his constitutional powers under Article 72 of the Constitution, remitted the remaining prison sentence imposed on three persons.”
The three were handed the jail term by the Supreme Court which was presided over by Justice Sophia Akufo for threatening to murder justice of the court if their decision in an electoral roll case did not favour the Electoral Commission (EC).
After failing to defend their open threat to the Judiciary, they were handed the jail term and a penalty of GHs10, 000 each on July 27. They paid the penalty.
NDC faithful were angry resulting in a drive to solicit signatories to compel the President to activate his powers in Article 72 of the Constitution. Opinions were divided on whether the three deserved to be pardoned or not.
In a decision that has taken many legal pundits by surprise, President Mahama has handed a remission of sentencing for the three men.
Mr Davies is surprised and wondering why “mercy would be decided for these three men” considering what they did.
He believes what matters in the President’s decision was the implication it carries especially the wrong precedent it would set in the country.
“There is a political antecedent to this thing so they should have been allowed to serve the sentence. Is this the constitutional democracy we are calling for?” he quizzed.