The three persons who were sentenced by the Supreme Court for contempt of Court are to be released from prison on Friday following a remission of sentence granted them by President John Mahama.
President Mahama grounded his decision on what he termed “compassionate grounds” because “they [the three] continue to express deep remorse and regret for the unacceptable statements they made against the Judiciary”.
Thursday will be exactly a month since the three – Salifu Maase, a radio host of Accra-based Montie FM and his two panellists, Alistair Nelson and Ako Gunn were sentenced by the Supreme Court for making threatening statements against the judges of the court.
Lawyers for the three- Salifu Maase, a radio host and his two panellists, Alistair Nelson and Ako Gunn- petitioned President Mahama to grant their clients a presidential pardon as per Article 72 of the Constitution.
A civil society group, Research and Advocacy Platform also presented a similar petition to President Mahama.
The petition was forwarded to the Council of State in accordance with the constitution.
A statement issued by the Communication Minister, Dr Edward Omane Boamah announced the remission for the three.
Read the full statement below
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.)