President John Mahama has pardoned three persons serving a four month jail term for criminal contempt.

 

A statement signed by the Communications Minister Dr Omane Boamah said the decision was taken on the advice of the Council of State and was on compassionate grounds.

A radio host with the Accra based Montie FM Salifu Maase and two panelists, Alistair Nelson and Godwin Ako-Gunn were found guilty for scandalizing the court and sentenced to four months in prison.

Barely a month after being in jail, the three can now heave a sigh of freedom following the remission of their sentence.

Background

The three had threatened to rape the Chief Justice Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood and kill other judges who sat on a case brought against the Electoral Commission.

By presiding over the case, the three said the judges wanted to foment trouble in the country and that if the 2016 elections turned violent they knew the homes of judges and finish them.

Their comments were roundly condemned by all and were later hauled before the judges to answer why they should not be held liable for contempt.

The three, together with the Directors of the radio station and the owner pleaded guilty to the charges of contempt and were duly sentenced on July 27, 2016.

Apart from the four month jail term, the three were each slapped with 10,000 cedis fine. Three of the Directors also had to pay 10,000 cedis each whilst the owner, was slapped with 30,000 cedis.

Petition

Shortly after they were sentenced there was a groundswell of petitions, mostly from party supporters, ministers of state and the contemnors themselves begging for pardon.

One of the lawyers for the contemnors, George Loh said the sentence was harsh and pleaded with the president to activate his powers of mercy under Article 72 of the Constitution.

The petitions were signed in haste and presented to the president, who in an unusual fashion, announced a handing over ceremony of the petition to the Council of State for advice.

Just days after the petitions were handed to the Cecilia Johnson led Council of State, a decision has been taken; an advice has been given to the president and the contemnors are to be set free.

On Friday August 25, the three will walk out from the Nsawam prison where they had been kept.

 

www.myjoyonline.com