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General News of Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Source: Class FM

'Mahama funeral' comment - ‘Okudzeto'll be exonerated if sued’ - Opoku Mensah

The comments made by a former president of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), Mr. Sam Okudzeto, that freeing the three incarcerated Montie FM contemnors will lead to President John Mahama’s funeral, will be thrown out of court even if his critics decide to sue him, a lecturer at the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Cape Coast, Dr. Eric Opoku Mensah, has said.

“If they really feel that what the lawyer said is wrong and he needs to face the law, so be it, but I think that he will be exonerated. This is purely English language,” he noted.

Mr. Okudzeto had told Class News: “They [contemnors] threatened judges, which is a criminal offence, the [Attorney General] refused to prosecute the people and, now, should he [Mr. Mahama] free them that is going to be his own funeral. …What lesson will he be telling the people of Ghana; that if people commit a criminal offence, because they are his party people, therefore, he should go and pardon them? Is that a proper way to administer the pardon? That is my view. If he wants to do it, he should go ahead and do it, but they forget we are all in Ghana; it is not just me.”

But the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, responding to Mr. Okudzeto’s comment in a statement, said: “The NDC considers this statement from Mr. Okudzeto not only as a threat to President Mahama’s life but also a danger to the very foundation of the country’s constitution, the people, and democracy, especially when such baseless and dangerous pronouncement is coming from a supposed seasoned and experienced legal practitioner of no mean repute”.

National Organiser of the party, Mr. Kofi Adams, also described the statement by Mr. Okudzeto as worse than the comments that landed the contemnors in jail.

But the political communication specialist, who was speaking to Prince Minkah on the Executive Breakfast Show on Wednesday August 3, argued that the comment was not a threat on the life of the president though government functionaries were scheming to make it appear so because of politics.

“I do not think the old lawyer was talking about the death of the president but only a figurative expression, How I understand it is that, it will be politically suicidal for the president to take such an action and I wonder if there is any other legitimate interpretation,” the lecturer stated.