Supreme Court to determine on “Montie 3’ pardon tomorrow

Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo

Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Supreme Court would tomorrow, Wednesday, November 21, 2018, deliver judgement on whether former President John Dramani Mahama breached the 1992 Constitution of Ghana by granting Presidential pardon to the “Montie 3” who were convicted of contempt of court and sentenced to four months in prison.

Mr. Salifu Maase also known as Mugabe, host of a political talk-show on Montie FM, an Accra-based independent radio, Mr. Alistair Nelson and Mr. Godwin Ako Gunn, all panelists, were again fined GH¢10,000 each in addition to their incarceration.

The three persons were jailed on July 27, 2016, for making some disparaging remarks on radio against the former Chief Justice, Mrs. Georgina Theodora Wood and other judges of the SC which amounted to “Scandalising the court, defying and lowering the authority of the court and bringing the authority of the court into disrepute.”

And upon the advice of the Council of State, former President Mahama exercised his constitutional powers under Article 72 (1) (d) of the 1992 Constitution by remitting the sentence of the contemnors effective August 26, 2016.

Worried over the former president’s action, three private Legal practitioners, namely, Messrs Elikplim Agbemava, Alfred Tuah-Yeboah and Nana Asante Bediatuo have filed separate suits which have been consolidated, thus asking the Apex Court to “strike down as null, void and of no effect the purported grant by the President of Ghana of a remission of the punishment of four months imposed on Salifu Maase, also known as Mugabe, Alistair Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn having acted in contempt of the Supreme Court to the extent that same is in excess of the powers conferred on the President of Ghana by Article 72 (1) of the 1992 Constitution as unjustified interference with the independence of the Judiciary and affront to the Constitution of Ghana”.

The court would clear the air on whether former president Mahama’s action was constitutional or ultra vires (unconstitutional).

Mrs. Justice Sophia Adinyira announced the judgement day when the court sat on the case on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

By Castro Zangina-Tong                  

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