President John Mahama has pardoned the Montie 3 contemnors in consultation with the Council of State after receiving two separate petitions from some Ministers of State and certain top members of the ruling National Democratic Congress.
The trio, Salifu Maase aka Mugabe, Godwin Ako Gunn and Alistair Nelson were earlier sentenced to serve four months in jail for making comments which degraded the powers of the Supreme Court on a popular MOntie FM radio show.
The contemnors however appealed to the president to use his power to grant pardon in their favour after expressing regrets over their comments.
According to a statement signed by the Minister of Communications, Edward Omane Boamah, the president granted the petition based on "compassionate grounds".
After the three were sentenced, various Ministers of States and top government officials endorsed a petition book pleading on the first gentleman of the land to pardon the three.
Among the top officials who endorsed the petition were Minister of Culture and Creative Arts, Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, Foreign Affairs Minister, Hannah Tetteh, Education Minister, Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang and Deputy Minister of Education, Okudzeto Ablakwa.
Amnesty International, a human rights advocacy group had earlier called on the president to pardon the three as well.
Below is the full statement signed by the Minister of Communication, Edward Omane Boamah:
PRESIDENT GRANTS REMISSION OF SENTENCE TO THREEE CONTEMNORS
The President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama has, in consultation with the Council of State and in exercise of his constitutional powers under Article 72 of the Constitution, remitted the remaining prison sentence imposed on three persons: Salifu Maase (alias Mugabe), Alistair Nelson and Ako Gunn who were sentenced to 4 months imprisonment and a fine of GHȻ10,000.00 each for contempt of court. The remission is effective 26th August 2016.
The three were sentenced on 27th July 2016 and have served part of the prison sentences imposed on them. They have also paid the GHȻ10,000.00 (ten thousand Cedis) fines. The decision of His Excellency the President to remit their sentences on compassionate grounds follows a petition submitted to him by the contemnors appealing to the President to exercise his prerogative of mercy even as they continue to express deep remorse and regret for the unacceptable statements they made against the Judiciary.
His Excellency, President Mahama takes this opportunity to remind all Ghanaians of the need to respect the institutions of State and exercise freedom of speech responsibly mindful of the need to preserve peace and national unity.
The President reminds all concerned especially persons working in the media or appearing on its platforms to be circumspect and guard against the use of intemperate language which has the potential of causing unnecessary tension especially in this election year. The President is hopeful that all will draw lessons from the events leading to the conviction of the three persons and bear in mind the consequences of injudicious utterances.
EDWARD K. OMANE BOAMAH (DR.)
By Musah Abelyire/ghanaguardian.com