The 1992 Constitution is clear.
Framers of the laws that have steered our constitutional democracy over the past 24 years; and their wisdom carefully included Chapters and Clauses on Separation of Powers to ensure checks and balances as well as to prevent abuse.
Over the period, these have been tried and tested. In 2010, a Commission was established to review the Constitution. Its report has since been presented and though some Ghanaians may not agree with all its recommendations, they await an implementation process that will capture all powers enshrined to move the nation as a people.
The Montie Trio Saga, the sentencing, the remission and commentaries by both astute lawyers and politicians, will go down in history forcefully.
Some say it is a bad precedent, others believe those suggesting that are deep rooted politicians opposed to the President and must be ignored. Indeed, those suggesting that President Mahama will forever be remembered for his action are right but posterity will judge us all. Opinionated positions now may be hasty.
He could have exercised his powers under Article 72 of the Constitution to offer the three, Salifu Maase (alias Mugabe), Alistair Nelson, and Ako Gunn reprieve, but he didn’t.
And it’s also on record that his lawyer, Tony Lithur was initially against those demanding a Presidential pardon, so the appeal for pardon was not wholesale from the NDC unlike other political parties where those against could have been ‘hanged’.
But fact is, HE did not act unilaterally. He followed due process after receiving the petition and upon the advice of the Council of State the punishment has been reduced. However the conviction remains.
I have carefully followed the debate even before it became clear the convicts could know their fate on the petition sent to the President. Some very renowned legal brains have taken it personal and unfortunately not arguing on legal terms, but on moral issues for political advantage.
Those in favour are in their jubilant mood and care little about the likely signal it sends to all media houses and political mavericks good at using abusive language on radio.
So what really has Mahama done wrong? Must …or let me put it this way,…..shouldn’t those complaining take him on if he has breached the Constitution?
Former Presidents Jerry Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor, late Professor Atta Mills have all exercised it before.
Those who benefitted in the past include people convicted for felony, rape, robbery, embezzlement and any crime you can add to the list. Those crimes are of higher scale compared to the Montie trio threats. So why was the nation silent then?
The NPP and its apparatchiks who today are crying foul and threatening mayhem should tell me how they reacted when Kwame Pianim for example, who was jailed for treason against the Rawlings government, was pardoned by the same Jerry Rawlings. In fact Kwame Pianim had already served ten of a twenty-year prison sentence.
What about former Minister of Sports, Mallam Issah jailed for the missing 45,000 dollars during President Kufuor’s regime?
Did the party jubilate when President John Mahama in 2012, pardoned former MP for Bawku Central Adamu Dramani Sakande, jailed for two years for perjury and forgery?
The historical antecedents exist for all to see. I remember during that period, the NPP was very vociferous in their pleas.
If he did not undermine the Supreme Court then, why now? Those pitching Judges against the President are rather evil and nation wreckers.
There is no doubt that the Montie Trio were reckless in their statements. Though they threatened Supreme Court Judges, the same Court said their sentencing was for contemptuous statements and not the threats.
But for strange reasons a section of the media have skewed the case through reports that they were sentenced for threatening to rape and kill Judges. Obviously a ploy to incite the bench and the public and that seemed to have worked well.
Excuse me, critical reader. Just a question. Am I right to say their rights were abused? Think carefully, because it could have been you. And again, I am just asking.
They have paid 10,000 each aside the hefty fine owners of the Montie FM and Network Broadcasting Company also paid. They have served one month and President John Mahama has now shown compassion to them.
Professors of Law have disagreed on the President’s action. Others have been exposed for their mischief. Clergymen have demonstrated their true colours. And as for the politicians, I have no worries.
But there are great lessons. The Montie Trio have first shown remorse. No matter the level of moral support they might have received, they have tasted jail. It affected their families.
Now I wait to see how they will carry themselves as host or guests when they return, Bet me and I seriously believe it can never be the same “BIEGYA” literally meaning MORE FIRE on the use of unsavory language again.
For those in support of the remission, realize that John Mahama is God fearing, respectful, humble, tolerant and will never endorse unprofessional conduct. Technically he has not embarrassed the Judges and will not encourage any action against them.
If there is any thanks for the President, show remorse, help Montie 3 to change for the better and NEVER cast insinuations against the Supreme Court Judges for they have done nothing wrong.
They exercised their duties, the punishment has sent right signals to you and me. You complained it was harsh, others felt its was even lenient. Let’s move on.
Those preparing to welcome Montie 3 or meet them personally sometime on Friday, please be moderate in your jubilation because of the sensitive nature of this case and remember that you owe it a duty to continue to show respect to all institutions of state including the Presidency.
If you take delight in insulting leaders, be it politicians, clergymen, Judges and so on, reflect on your conscience and stop. Those who are bitter now but are silent on attacks on the President for example, demonstrate sincerity in your heart by openly condemning such acts, no matter who that person may be.
John Mahama may be tolerant but whatever we do, either as party activists, experts, clergymen etc, posterity will judge us one day.
Let’s help build Ghana. God Bless you.
Source: Eric Ahianyo, Accra
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