‘Montie 3’: Case adjourned to Oct 23

montie 3The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday adjourned to October 23, the case in which three private legal practitioners are challenging the constitutionality of former President John Dramani Mahama to grant pardon to the ‘Montie 3,’ for hearing.

This is because three of the seven member panel presided by Justice Sophia Adinyira were absent.

In adjourning the case, Justice Adinyira said she was not aware the case was fixed for hearing on June 6, indicating that she would have adjourned to a date when the other members of the panel were available.

Messrs. Godwin Ako Gunn, Alistair Nelson and Salifu Maase, also known as Mugabe, were  on July 27, 2016, jailed four months for making disparaging remarks against the SC judges, including the former Chief Justice, Mrs. Georgina Theodora Wood.

On August 22, 2016, President Mahama exercised his Prerogative of Mercy pursuant to Article 72 of the 1992 Constitution and remitted the remaining sentences of the contemnors following an advice by the Council of State on August 19, 2016.

Displeased by the action of the former President, the plaintiffs, Nana Asante Bdiatuo, Mr. Elikplim Agbemava and Mr. Alfred Tuah-Yeboah in their separate suits want the Apex Court to reverse the presidential pardon and subsequently filed their Memorandum of Agreed Issues as ordered by the Supreme Court on March 28, 2018.

The three persons were jailed for contempt of court and ordered also to pay a fine of GH¢10,000.00 each for scandalising the court, defying and lowering the authority of the court as well as bringing the authority of the court into disrepute during a “Talk show” or a political programme on a private radio station, Montie FM, 100.1 FM, on June 29, 2016.

The plaintiffs, however, invoked the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Articles 2 (1), 130 (1), 72 and 296 of the 1992 Constitution for the following reliefs or declarations:

“That the grant of remission of sentence of Godwin Ako Gunn, Alistair Nelson and Salifu Maase who were sentenced to four months imprisonment by this Court based on its own inherent jurisdiction under Article 126 (2) of the 1992 Constitution for contempt is contrary to Articles 72 and 296 © of the 1992 Constitution and is, therefore, void and of no legal effect.

 

“The power of the President of the Republic of Ghana to exercise the prerogative of mercy is limited to convictions for criminal offences set out in the 1992 Constitution and the Criminal Act, 1960 (Act 29) and does not include convictions for contempt of court arising from the inherent jurisdiction of the court under Article 126 of the 1992 and ones initiated by private persons.

“The grant of remission of sentence by the President in accordance with Article 72 (1) to Godwin Ako Gunn, Alistair Nelson, and Salifu Maase alias Mugabe who were sentenced to four months imprisonment by this Court for contempt of Court is null and void and should be reversed by this court.”

BY MALIK SULLEMANA   

 

 

 

 

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