Law professor condemns Supreme Court jailing of Montie FM panellists

Law professor condemns Supreme Court jailing of Montie FM panellists

Stephen Kweku  Asare, a Ghanaian law professor based in the US, has condemned the ruling of the Supreme Cout which sentenced a radio presenter and two panellists of Accra-based Montie FM to four months in jail.

Law professor condemns Supreme Court jailing of Montie FM panellists

From left: Alistair Nelson, Salifu Masse and Godwin Ako Gunn

Montie FM presenter Salifu Maase, aka, ‘Mugabe’ and panellists Alistair Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn, were jailed on Wednesday by the Supreme Court for contempt.

They had reportedly threatened to kill judges after the court ruled that the Electoral Commission should delete the names of 53,000 NHIS cards registrants from the voters register.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Prof. Asare called on President Mahama to invoke his power under Article 72 of the constitution to immediately arrest what he called the judicial arbitrariness of the Supreme Court.

The articles states in part that:

"The president may, acting in consultation with the council of state, 

(a) grant to a person convicted of an offence a pardon either free or subject to lawful conditions; or

(b) grant to a person a respite, either indefinite or for a specified period, from the execution of punishment imposed on him for an offence; or

(c) substitute a less severe form of punishment for a punishment imposed on a person for an offence; or

(d) remit the whole or part of a punishment imposed on a person or of a penalty or forfeiture otherwise due to Government on account of any offence."

READ ALSO: Find out what the NDC said about the sentencing of the Montie three

Prof. Asare, stated the court's posture, which he described as barbaric, undermined executive power and the constitution.

"Even someone who commits mass murder is entitled to a fair trial at a trial defended by competent lawyers and guaranteed an appellate process.

It is abuse of judicial power for the court to act as its own prosecutor, police, investigator, juror and judge in a barbaric trial that has no appellate process and that sends a man to jail for 4 months," he said.

He emphasised that the pardon power was created to arrest such abuses and that the president must lead to send the clearest signal to the judiciary that they cannot subvert the constitution.

Meanwhile, lawyers for the three are said to have petitioned the president to pardon them under Article 78.

In a letter sent to the president on their behalf by their lawyers, they called on him to exercise his prerogative of mercy on them, according to a report by classfmonline.com.

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