Mahama’s pardon of the Montie 3 has stirred up massive uproar across the country, with many criticising the President for succumbing to the pressure mounted on him by those pushing for their release. John Ndegubri, a private legal practitioner, has stated that the President’s pardon of the three has set a bad example for future governments to come.
The Montie 3; Alistair Nelson, Godwin Ako Gunn and Salifu Maase, alias Mugabe, had been sentenced to serve four months in jail by the Supreme Court on July 27th 2016, for criminal contempt. This was after they threatened on radio to kill Judges of the Supreme Court, over their handing of the voters’ register case.
The four month jail sentence was met with many agitations directed at the President, for their release. This subsequently led to the emergence of a petition book signed mostly by big wigs of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), for the same cause. Wanting the President to uphold the judgement of the Supreme Court, the Progressive People’s Part (PPP) launched a counter petition asking that the trio remain in jail.
The President after consulting with the Council of State, has finally decided to exercise his prerogative of mercy powers on the trio’s behalf. According to the statement issued by the Presidency, Mahama pardoned the Montie 3 considering their pleas for mercy, as well as their deep regrets for their misconduct.
The Montie 3 pardon however, has not gone down well among many Ghanaians including Ndegubri. Analysing the system, he said that the Montie 3 pardon will put pressure on future governments, to pardon persons who commit similar offences in the future.
Speaking on Citi Eyewitness News, he said that the incumbent party has set an unacceptable precedent for similar cases in the future. According to him, if a person who is not an NDC supporter commits similar offence in the future, the ruling party will be expected to provide the necessary support for the person, just as they did for the Montie trio.
Given the short length of the jail sentence, and also the fact they have already served a month, Ndegubri said that the President’s pardon on them, was not a wise move. He explained that though Mahama’s pardon of the trio was legally and constitutionally proper, it was an improper political move, considering the fact that all eyes are on him and the NDC.