Media Consult, a group within the governing National Democratic Congress(NDC) has added its voice to calls on President John Mahama to pardon the Muntie trio who were convicted and jailed four months each, for scandalising the Supreme Court and bringing the administration of justice into disrepute.
It said the 1992 Constitution mandated the President to pardon such convicts and therefore, it will not be out of place if the President exercised his constitutional right.
The group based their argument on Article 72 of the 1992 Constitution which states that “The President may, acting in consultation with the Council of State grant to a person convicted of an offence a pardon either free or subject to lawful conditions, the group maintained that doing so would not result in usurping the powers of the court.”
Addressing a press conference in Accra yesterday, the spokesperson of the group, Alfred Kojo Triddles said although they respect the verdict of the apex court, the jail term was harsh.
He said the media was the fourth estate of the realm and should be given the free will to express its views without hindrance.
While scolding the trio for making disparaging remarks of the court and its judges, he said the conviction and subsequent fine was deterring enough.
“To begin with, permit us to submit unequivocally that we at Ghana Media Consult do not in any way condone comments made by our comrades against our highly respected judges. Indeed, we condemn in no uncertain terms and describe them as totally unwarranted,” he said.
Asked whether the call on President Mahama to invoke Article 72 of the 1992 Constitution would not amount to assault on the pillars of democracy, he said Article 72 clearly defined what powers were conferred on the President by the constitution.
He added that the principle of Separation of Powers was explicit on the powers of the executive, the judiciary and the legislature and how the three arms of government should serve as checks and balances.
“We hold the view that the President invoking Article 72 of the 1992 Constitution would amount to a validation of the authority and sovereign will of the Ghanaian people.
“The three arms of Government, in pursuance of the principle of Separation of Powers, must continue to work independently of each other, while at the same time, acting as checks and balances on each other,” he said.
By Malik Sullemana