Supreme Court sets October for day it will judge Mahama 2016 'Montie' pardon case

Source: Ghana|Joy News| Joseph Ackah-Blay
Date: 6th-june-2018 Time:  3:41:46 pm

Share this story:

The Supreme Court has set October, 23 2018 to determine when they will judge on the legality of President John Mahama's decision to set free three National Democratic Congress loyalists jailed for criminal contempt in July 2016.

The judgment is expected to bring to a close a case that has travelled two years after NPP lawyer Nana Asante Bediatuo, Elikplim L. Agbemava and Alfred Tuah-Yeboah filed their cases in September 2016.

The three challenged then President Mahama's pardon of Salifu Maase, host of a morning political talk show of Montie FM, Alistair Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn, all panellists.

 The three who were peeved over a judgment ordering the Electoral Commission to delete some invalid names from the voters' registery went on air threatening to "open fire" on some Supreme Court judges.

Angered by the president's intervention, the three private citizens maintain the pardon of the loyalists barely a month into their four-month conviction is "an unjustified interference with the independence of the Judiciary and, therefore, affront to the Constitution of Ghana."

The President had pardoned the three known as 'Montie 3' on 22 August 2016 based on powers conferred on him under Article 72 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, a statement said.

The pardon which came about three months before a crucial general election in December was interpreted as a move to satisfy supporters of the governing NDC and fire them up for the campaign trail. 

The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) branded it as a presidential slap on the face of the judges who had been threatened by the contemnors on the day that the judiciary marked the anniversary of murdered judges in June 1982 under a military junta.

Criticism against the NDC government over the pardon ebbed as the political climate changed with the defeat of President John Mahama and the NDC in the December 7 polls.

The NPP formed a new government in January 2017 and one of the three plaintiffs Nana Asante Bediatuo was appointed the President's Executive Secretary.

The lawyers for the plaintiffs took an entire year to file their memorandum of issues after the court asked that the cases be consolidated. The case was called again in March 2018 with the judges chiding the three lawyers for the plaintiffs over the delays.

At the June 6, 2018 hearing Justice Sophia Adinyira adjourned the case explaining some of the seven-member panel were absent.

The case is expected to be finally decided on October 23. Nana Asante Bediatuo has said that ”if the courts find our case favourable, they should go back to prison and continue where they left off”.

  What others are reading

  More in this section