General News of Wednesday, 21 March 2018
The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned to March 28 a petition filed against the presidential pardon given to the Montie 3 in 2016.
This is to enable the lawyers in the case to file their memorandum of issues.
The seven-member panel presided over by Justice Sophia Adinyira adjourned the matter to enable the justices to study the case thoroughly.
She told the petitioners that they had a whole year to do that but failed to do so only for one of them to file on Tuesday, March 20, same day the case was called.
Justices Jones Dotse, Anim Yeboah, A. A. Benin, Yaw Appau, Gabriel Pawamang and Baffoe Bonnie were the other justices.
The plaintiffs- Nana Asante Bediatuo, Elipklim Agbemeva and Alfred Yeboah- are represented by lawyers Bright Obeng Manu, Akoto Ampaw and Ernest Owusu Dapaah.
The Attorney General was represented by Ms Grace Oppong, a Principal State Attorney.
The petitioners are challenging the constitutionality of the pardon granted by former President John Dramani Mahama to three National Democratic Congress (NDC) activists who threatened Supreme Court justices on radio.
The activists – Alistair Nelson, Godwin Ako Gunn and Salifu Masse- were later convicted and sentenced to four months’ imprisonment for contempt of court.
To the plaintiffs, the former president could not arrogate unto himself powers exclusively within the bosom of the judiciary per the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
They pleaded with the apex court to declare the pardon null and void.
They claim the presidential pardon granted the three was unconstitutional, as the former president purportedly exploited the exercise of the prerogative of mercy.
They further claim the exercise of judicial functions in a matter not within the scope of Article 72 (1) undermines the principles of separation of powers and independence of the judiciary.
They pray that should the court find the case meritorious, Montie 3 should be sent back to jail to finish their jail terms.
The three were convicted on July 27, 2016 but were granted presidential pardon in August 2016 after serving a little over three weeks in jail.