If President John Mahama critically peruses the judgement by the Supreme Court, in which three persons contemnors – Alistair Nelson, Godwin Ako Gunn, and Salifu Maase, aka Mugabe – were each handed a four-month jail term for scandalising the court and bringing its name into disrepute, he will certainly ignore the petition to grant them a presidential pardon, Mr O. B Amoah, Chairman of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament, has said.
Pressure is being mounted on Mr Mahama to exercise his prerogative of mercy power under Article 72 of the 1992 Constitution to free the contemnors. Several supporters of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), including some ministers of state, have signed a petition to pile pressure on the president to free the three convicts. The petition has been submitted to the seat of government for presidential action.
But speaking on Multi TV’s news analysis programme Newsfile on Saturday August 6, Mr Amoah, who is the Member of Parliament for Akuapem South, said: “Probably, after reading the judgment, he [President Mahama] will make a statement and that will curtail all these [calls for the three to be freed]. Why am I saying this? If you read the ruling…the court is saying that our main focus is to protect the state, protect the judiciary, to ensure law and order because what has happened is an affront to our democracy. …These people [contemnors] acted with impunity, these people acted to undermine the powers of the judiciary, they scandalised the court.
“They [judges] were saying that for a long time, these things had been going on…they tried certain examples during the election petition but they believe still people are taking things for granted. … And if you look at the reason why they have come to this conclusion, and you get a president who wants to reverse this, then the president really might not be interested in running the state well.
“The independence of the judiciary is the bastion of our democracy and as they [SC justices] said, they are seeking to ensure law and order, the security of the state, that people will not act with impunity and undermine every state institution. If they come to such conclusion, then you get any person to say that the president should reverse the kind of punishment that they meted out to such persons, then obviously it means you are not interested in [the state].”
Source: Ghana/ClassFMonline.com/91.3 FM