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General News of Friday, 5 August 2016

Source: Class FM

Montie 3: Lawyers signing petition unethical - Boahen

It was unethical for some lawyers to have signed the petition book opened to solicit signatures to mount pressure on President John Dramani Mahama to grant presidential pardon to the three Montie FM contemnors – Alistair Nelson, Godwin Ako Gunn, and Salifu Maase, aka Mugabe – who were jailed by the Supreme Court for scandalising and bringing the name of the bench into disrepute, Nana Obiri Boahen, a Deputy General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has said.

The contemnors threatened to kill justices of the court when they appeared on political talk show Pampaso, hosted by Mugabe on Accra-based Montie FM. They were each sentenced to a four-month jail term.

The petition book was opened by the Research and Advocacy Platform (RAP) to gather one million signatures. The petition was presented to the president via Chief of Staff Julius Debrah on Thursday. It attracted over 180,000 signatures, including those of some lawyers such as the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur.

But speaking in an interview with Chief Jerry Forsn, host of Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5 FM on Friday, August 5, Mr. Obiri Boahen said he was reliably informed that the lawyers for the contemnors also signed the petition book, which he said was unethical.

He said: “You have a situation where [in] a ruling government, you have ministers [including] Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyeman, Nana Oye Lithur, [a] women’s [rights] activist, who have signed a petition in support of what they [Montie FM contemnors] have said against the Supreme Court and, therefore, have been sentenced. …I am reliably informed that those who signed the petition included the lawyers [for the contemnors].

“Is this part of the ethics of our profession? Is that what we as lawyers were taught? When you have done a case for the client, why won’t you file an appeal or a review, but you rather support someone’s petition. So do you have to reduce the profession to this level?” Mr. Boahen asked.

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