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General News of Tuesday, 9 August 2016


Montie 3 petition won’t force Mahama to act – James Agalga

Deputy Interior minister James Agalga has said the ‘Montie three’ petition signed by several ministers will not compel President John Mahama to act in the controversial matter.

According to him, the President will exercise his prerogative power of mercy in the interest of the state, “just as he has done in the past”.

Scores of supporters of the ruling National Democratic Congress including many ministers of the Mahama-led administration have petitioned the President to activate article 72 and grant pardon to the three individuals who have been jailed for contempt.

Two radio panelists and a host of Accra-based Montie FM have been given a four-month jail term for scandalizing the court.

Commenting on the matter, Mr. Agalga told an audience in Wa that the President has the power to act but will only exercise it in the ultimate interest of the country.

“Last year the president as a man who is compassionate granted pardon to 900 inmates and this year, he granted pardon to a number slightly above the 900. And so the power to grant pardon is vested in the president by the constitution, and so whenever the president feels that there is the need to show compassion to convicts, he will exercise that power without any fetters.

“In recent times there have been calls for the president to grant certain individuals who fell foul of the law pardon. Let us allow the President the space to exercise what he thinks is right in the circumstances. Let us all trust in the judgment of the president... If the President thinks that it is in the best interest of Ghanaians and all of us as a people to exercise that power again, he will exercise it. But I can assure you he will do so within the confines of the law," Agalga stated.

He added: “...The fact that a petition has been signed and directed at the President to invoke his power does not mean he is going to exercise that power without giving due considerations to the surrounding circumstances".

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