President John Mahama missed an opportunity to show moral fortitude and garner respect across the political divide with his pardon of the Montie three, a private legal practitioner, Moses Foh Amoaning has said.
“Imagine the level of moral strength the president would have garnered if the pressure had been put and he would have waited and then said quietly he wouldn’t do it,” Lawyer Foh Amoaning opined.
He was speaking on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana where he also described the President’s decision to remit the sentences of the Montie trio jailed for criminal contempt as an abuse of the constitutional prerogative of mercy.
Today, Friday, the three; Alistair Nelson, Godwin Ako Gunn and Salifu Maase will be released from prison after President John Mahama remitted their four-month prison sentence.
The Montie three were imprisoned in July for criminal contempt of court after they threatened the lives of Supreme Court Justices on a live Montie FM radio programme.
Lawyer Foh Amoaning noted that all the three “happen to be from the President’s party so it paints a picture that all of it was done because that is what his party members were seeking to do.”
Dangerous precedent being set
The lawyer also explained that a dangerous precedent was being set by President Mahama because the “next president will also come. Mr. X who belongs to his party will also go and misbehave. The court will take a decision and there will be pressure put him, petitions will be signed and then he too can do that.”
Another private legal practitioner, John Ndebugri had also expressed similar fears that President Mahama’s decision to pardon the Montie trio might put pressure on successive governments to pardon persons who commit similar offences in future.
Although the President acted within the provisions of the constitution, Ndebugri suggested that the pardon had set an unnecessary precedent, given the short length of the sentence given to the three, of which they had already served a month.
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