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General News of Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Four times public figures have been granted presidential pardon under the Fourth Republic

Abuga Pele is the latest person to enjoy the presidential pardon Abuga Pele is the latest person to enjoy the presidential pardon

• Over the years, presidents of the country have exercised their privilege to pardon prisoners

• They have freed shown clemency to some prisoners who met certain conditions

• Some public figures have also benefited from gestures

Presidential pardon is one of many privileges the 1992 Constitution accords the president by virtue of his or her position.

The provision allows the president to grant amnesty to some incarcerated persons upon advice from the Ghana Prisons Service.

Successive presidents have exercised this power over the years as show compassion and also a move to decongest some of the country’s highly populated prisons.

Whiles the main beneficiaries have been some lay prisoners, some public figures have over the years enjoyed this pardon.

Below are four of those

Kufuor pardons Tsatsu Tsikata

In 2009, then President Kufuor exercised the prerogative of pardon to free Tsatsu Tsikata who had been jailed for willfully causing financial loss to the state.

Tsatsu was battling illness whiles in prison and Kufuor offered him a chance to leave prison.

The celebrated lawyer however rejected the opportunity and instead sent a letter to President Kufuor in which he accused him of masterminding his incarceration and acting hypocritically.

Tsatsu it will be recalled was released after winning an appeal of the initial ruling.

Mahama pardons Adamu Dramani Sakande

The former Bawku MP was jailed in 2012 for two years after he was found guilty of false declaration of office, perjury and deceit of a public officer.

Sakande got ill whiles in prison and was sent to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital to undergo treatment.

Whiles in the hospital, John Dramani Mahama who was the president then, granted him pardon. He recovered and expressed gratitude to Mahama for the gesture.

He died last year.

Mahama pardons Montie Three In one of the moves that brought his government a lot of bashing, John Dramani Mahama granted presidential pardon to Salifu Maase (alias Mugabe) and his two panelists, Alistair Nelson and Ako Gunn who had been jailed for contempt of court. The trio threatened the then Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood as well Justices of the Supreme Court in the heat of the 2012 election petition hearing..

They were sentenced to four months in jail each with an additional fine of GH¢10,000 for making contemptuous statement against the Chief Justice and the apex court.

However on February 26, 2021, the government announced that President Mahama acting on advice from the Council of State had decided to pardon the trio.

Akufo-Addo pardons Abuga Pele

In 2018, the former Member of Parliament for Chiana/Paga was handed a six-year jail term for causing financial loss to the state.

He was found guilty of using the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) to misappropriate funds.

Last week President Akufo-Addo pardoned him after it emerged that he was battling illness at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

He has in separate interviews expressed gratitude to President Akufo-Addo and opened up about life in prison.

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