The President of the Republic of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama has in consultation with the Council of State and in exercise of his constitutional powers under Article 72 of the constitution pardoned the Montie three contemnors.
According to a statement signed by the Minister for Communications, Dr Omane Boamah the remission is effective 26th August 2016.
1. Compassionate grounds
According to the president, he pardoned the contemnors on ‘compassionate’ grounds. Compassion would usually be given for convicts with serious ill health such as cancer.
2. Wise counsel?
According to the president, he consulted the Council of State in arriving at this decision. The Council of State are the president’s ‘wise men and women’ who advise him on an array of important issues including the appointment of judges.
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3. The petition worked
A petition book was subsequently opened to collect signatures of Ghanaians to implore the president to exercise his prerogative of mercy powers to free the three contemnors. According to the president, he acted based on the petition.
Those who signed the petition included the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hanna Tetteh, Minister of Children, Gender and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, the Minister of Education, Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang and her deputy, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.
A counter petition has also been started by the opposition Progressive People’s Party to urge the president not to pardon the trio.
4. Lessons learned
“The President is hopeful that all will draw lessons from the events leading to the conviction of the three persons and bear in mind the consequences of injudicious utterances”
The jailed Montie three, Alistair Nelson, Godwin Ako Gunn and Salifu Maase alias ‘Mugabe’ were sentenced to four months in prison by the Supreme Court following contempt proceedings against them.