A number of political parties have expressed varied views on whether or not President John Mahama should succumb to the pressure being mounted on him by scores of his party members to grant presidential pardon to the three Montie FM contemnors.
Alhaji Mustapha Hamid, the spokesperson for the NPP flag bearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on the other hand, lauded the Supreme Court judgement, saying that the conviction of the Montie FM three would be enough to deter carelessness in the media landscape.
in separate interviews with the Daily Graphic in Accra, the PPP and the GCPP described any attempt to free the Montie contemnors as a “wrong move”, while the PNC and APC supported the call, describing the sentence as “too harsh”.
The Founder of Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), on the other hand, has asked Ghanaians, especially the NDC supporters, to stop mounting pressure on President Mahama to free the convicts.
The Supreme Court last Wednesday sent a strong warning to people who make irresponsible comments on media platforms by sentencing two radio panellists and a programme host to four months’ imprisonment each for scandalising the court.
The two panellists, Alistair Tairo Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn, and the host, Salifu Maase, alias Mugabe, were also fined GH¢10,000 each.
The two panellists, spurred on by Maase, threatened the lives of judges of the superior court, especially those who heard the case on the credibility of the country’s electoral roll filed by Abu Ramadan and Evans Nimako against the Electoral Commission (EC).
PPP will be shocked
The National Coordinator of the PPP, Mr Murtala Mohammad, said invoking article 72 might undermine the supremacy of the Supreme Court justices.
He said the President would “embolden other future offenders” to take similar action if the three were to receive any sort of presidential pardon.
GCPP excited by the judgement
The Presidential Candidate of the GCPP, Dr Henry Herbert Lartey, said the conviction of the Montie FM trio would be enough to deter recklessness in the media landscape and ensure sanity.
Asked whether the four-month jail term was too harsh, he said, “this is not the first time and so a stiffer punishment is what is needed to curb the problem.”
The National Chairman of the PNC, Mr Bernard Mornah, said he supported the call for the President to intervene. He described the punishment as “too harsh”.
“We must not do anything that might put fear in ordinary Ghanaians or make people keep silent on issues of national interest, ” he said.
The General Secretary of the APC, Mr Razak Kojo Opoku, said the judges allowed their emotions to influence their judgement.
Asked why the GFP signed the petition book, the Founder of the GFP, Madam Ekua Donkor, said the three convicted individuals must be pardoned, made to sign a bond of good behaviour and be released from prison custody.