Since after the Montie 3 pardon was made public by the Presidency, it has been criticisms upon criticisms from Ghanaians, with a good number of them desiring that the president be crucified for his decision.
It has been on the news not long ago, that President John Mahama has ordered the release of the three jailed staff of Montie Fm; Salifu ‘Mugabe’ Maase, Alistair Nelson and Godwin Ako-Gunn who were convicted of contempt by the Supreme Court following their issue of death threats on judges during a radio talk show.
President Mahama decided to grant pardon to the trio following several appeals from members of the ruling party, and most importantly, a heart-breaking plea for mercy from the three. Mahama had made it clear in the pardon statement that his decision was mainly on the grounds of compassion considering the offenders deep remorse for their misconduct.
However, all these explanations seem to be a story for the gods for a good section of the populace who have descended heavily on the president since after getting news of the Montie 3 pardon. Many critics of the President’s decision have taken to various media platforms – radio, Tv, twitter, Facebook, newspapers and so on to let out their grievances. Many have condemned the president’s action, tagging it a bad example which will subsequently encourage similar unacceptable actions from people in the country.
The Opposition Parties
The opposition New Patriotic Party has expressed extreme disappointment over the Montie 3 pardon. They have also made calls for an immediate reversal of the decision. According to a statement released by the party’s Communications Director, Nana Ankomea, the President’s action “appears to be an endorsement of behaviours unacceptable in our society”. They also called on Ghanaians to endeavour to vote out Mahama so that law and order could be restored in the country.
The Progressive People’s Party(PPP) also described Mahama as ‘weak’ for bowing to pressure from his party to pardon the Montie three. The PPP also opined that the President has rendered the judiciary ‘toothless’ and ‘ineffective’ by his action. Some other members of the opposition have also labeled the President a coward who could not take responsibility. They argued that the president went under the guise of the Council of State to grant pardon to the trio to avoid taking responsibility.
A good number of members of the legal field have described the president’s decision as sheer lawlessness as well as a slap in the face of the judiciary who decided the case of the three. Former Attorney General, Ayikoi Otoo said that Mahama’s action suggests that the judges who sentenced the three do not know what they were doing. According to him, Mahama has proven himself a president for his party and not one for the entire country.
However, another section of the public has commended the President on his decision to release the Montie trio. Many Ghanaians are of the opinion that the latest development is not as serious as what Ghanains have let go in recent past, such as the GYEEDA and SADA money palaver, Gitmo 2 saga, Bus Branding deal brouhaha, the floods tragedy, etc. They therefore argued that if all those ones could be swallowed, this one means nothing to them.
Members of the ruling party on their own part have been singing songs of jubilation over the development. For them, there is nothing strange, uncommon, or out of place in the president’s decision. Defending the President’s action, the General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia explained that there is no need for debates over the Montie 3 pardon. According to him, the pardon never absolved the contemnors of their crime – it was not based on justice but on mercy because it is only the guilty that pleads for mercy.
Although all the critics acknowledged the fact that the president’s action is constitutional, they however insists that it is unsuitable and unhealthy for the circumstances surrounding it.
So far, the judiciary has made no comments on the latest development. We promise to keep you updated.
Meanwhile, what’s your own take on the Montie 3 pardon? We’ll love to have your reactions at the comment session below.