Ghana: Presidential Pardon
Considering the response to Ghana’s President John Mahama’s reprieve of the four-month sentence for contempt of the Supreme Court by Salifu Maase (alias Mugabe), Alistair Nelson, and Ako Gunn (the Muntie 3), there is no doubt that the president flexed his constitutional muscle for political gains and reasons. We find it rather disturbing that President Mahama would kotow to pressure from his party to remit the four-month prison sentence of three people who knowingly and purposefully scandalized the nation’s Supreme Court. The precedence is dangerous and troubling in a country praying to have peaceful elections in December.
And with the background of the Rwanda genocide in 1984 when a broadcaster chose the medium of the radio to spread the poison of war against a section of the nation’s population, Mr. Mahama must have known not to acquiesce to the demands of the war mongers in his party. Amandla, like most freedom loving Ghanaians, would not accept the victimization of journalists for performing their duty. Unlike what happened in 2013 when some Ghanaians were incarcerated for contempt merely for expressing their opinions on the petition then being heard, the Muntie 3 decided to scandalize the nation’s highest court. The judiciary is the most revered of the three arms of governance. It is also the most trusted.
The Muntie 3 erred in disrespecting and putting the Supreme Court to ridicule and most Ghanaians, including some in the ruling party consider their reprieve as an affront to justice and democracy. We hope the precedence set by the president of the Republic would not become a norm with any other party that assumes office in future. We share the view that two wrongs do not make a right and so future governments would be circumspect in their dealings with the Supreme Court. We appeal to the media and political parties to tamper their speech with circumspection to ensure peaceful elections this year.