Montie 3: Mahama lost opportunity to stamp his authority in NDC –CPP
The Convention People’s Party (CPP) says President John Mahama lost a classical opportunity to take charge of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) when he remitted the custodial sentence of Montie 3.
In a statement signed by the Communications Director, Issifu Kadiri Abdul Rauf, and copied Myjoyonline.com the Party said the President should have refused to give in when he was pressurised by supporters of the NDC to pardon the journalist and two radio panelists.
“We thought an opportunity has presented itself for the NDC to proof the country to the contrary, concerning their respect for Justices, but unfortunately this rare opportunity is allowed to slip by,” Mr Rauf said in the statement.
President Mahama on Monday remitted the four-month jail term of a presenter of an Accra-based Montie FM Salifu Maase popularly known as Mugabe and two panellists Alistair Tairo Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn who were convicted for contempt of court.
Spurred on by Mr Maase, the two panelists threatened to rape and murder justices of the Supreme Court when they were hearing an electoral roll case. They were sentenced for tainting the justice system and fined GH¢10, 000 each which they settled.
Later, lawyers of the three men led a drive to solicit signatories to pressurise President Mahama to activate his powers in Article 72 of the 1992 Constitution.
Per the President’s decision, they would be leaving the Nsawam prison where they are serving the four month Jail term each on Friday, August 26 by which time they would have served one month there.
Opinions regarding the President’s decision, which was taken in consultation with the Council of State, are divided.
Whereas some persons including Nana Ato Dadzie a senior lawyer of the NDC have lauded the President, a legislator Samuel Atakyea and others have expressed their grave disappointment.
The CPP says it found the President’s decision as unfortunate, adding, “President sacrificed the larger expectation of the people for partisan interest.”
Read full statement below:
The Convention People’s Party is appalled by President John Dramani Mahama’s decision to remit the sentence of the ‘Montie 3’ contemnors, who were sentenced by the Supreme Court last month.
Legally speaking, the President’s power of pardon in cases like this cannot be questioned. He is at liberty to act as he deems fit, however, it would naturally be expected that the President exercise this power in a manner consistent with the safety and integrity of the State.
As it stands, the CPP fears the decision of the President would rather open a Pandora box for similar cause of actions in future. The reputation of the NDC vis-à-vis the Court is nothing to write home about, given the history of the painful murder of Justices in moments past.
We thought an opportunity has presented itself for the NDC to proof the country to the contrary, concerning their respect for Justices, but unfortunately, this rare opportunity is allowed to slip by.
If in the wisdom of the President and the Council of State they think that the Montie three should be pardon, even when they threaten to rape Justices of the of the Supreme Court, the CPP ideally should not have problem with this; nonetheless we are extremely worried about the future of our country and the bad signal this sends outside the domain of law.
Several Ghanaians for long have expressed fear about the decisiveness of the President and the CPP minimally would have thought the President would cease the opportunity to stamp his authority against intensed pressure from his party. On the contrary, the President sacrificed the larger expectation of the people for partisan interest. The history of Ghana would always remember the President for this action.
We support the work of the media so far us it is helping us in our nation building exercise, and it is in this light that we call for a greater sense of responsibility and responsiveness in our media landscape.
Undoubtedly, the Constitution allows Ghanaians the freedom to express their views without inhibition, but where citizens threaten to kill and rape, it is admittedly outside the freedom of expression, but falls under intimidation, threats, harassment, and fear. These conduct we suggest should be discouraged and condemned by well-meaning citizens.
The CPP equally urges all political party commentators who mount platforms to talk on behalf of their parties, to be considerate, circumspect, and wise in their utterances. They should constantly be mindful of the feelings and rights of the millions of Ghanaians who are apolitical.
Long live Ghana.
Long live our democracy.
IssifuKadiri Abdul Rauf
CPP Director of Communication
Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Austin Brakopowers | Email: [email protected]