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General News of Tuesday, 23 August 2016


President Mahama still respects judiciary - Omane Boamah

Communications Minister, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, says President John Mahama still has an unfettered respect for all state institutions.including the judiciary.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, the president’s spokesperson said his bosses’ decision to remit the sentences of the Montie 3, does not in any way undermine the role of the judiciary but rather affirms his respect for the constitution.

“President Mahama continues to respect state institutions, that is why he acted in accordance with the constitution.

“He will continue to respect the powers conferred on state institutions and this includes the legislature, judiciary, executive, the media and citizens of Ghana which these institutions must serve. At all times he will ensure that he acts in a manner that does not offend the laws of our nation,” he added.
The remission of the sentence of the host and two panelists of Accra-based Montie FM has shocked the nation.

The three – Godwin Ako Gunn, Alistair Nelson and Salifu Maase caused public outrage when they threatened to rape and murder justices of the Supreme Court during a political talk show.

The trio believed the Supreme Court did not rule justly when it ordered the Electoral Commission to delete names of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card registrants from the electoral roll.

The NHIS card had been ruled out as legitimate proof of citizenship by the Court in an earlier ruling.

The three were handed down a four-month jail term with a ?10, 000 fine for each after they were convicted of criminal contempt on their own plea.

However, following a petition signed by many bigwigs of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) and thousands of grassroots supporters, President Mahama on Monday, August 22, 2016 remitted the sentence given the three known sympathizers of the party, despite advise by many including his lawyer, Tony Lithur, against it.

The three are expected to be released on Friday August 26, 2016.
The president has been sternly criticised by many for remitting the sentence of the three. He has been accused of doing so because they claim to be his supporters.

But Dr Omane Boamah said the president would have done this for any citizen of the country if he needed to and that he was in no way influenced by their relationship to his party.

“The president has acted in strict compliance and has not acted in an unbiased manner, he has nothing to gain from being biased and he did not favour anyone.”

The president, he indicated, will continue to work with all state institutions because he is a law abiding citizen.

He said Mr Mahama acted in accordance with Article 72 of the constitution and that he was not “whimsical or capricious and so he referred the matter to the council of state and they after a period submitted their advice and the president has taken a decision in consultation with the council of state.”

The Communications Minister said the president’s decision means that although the three are out of prison, the fine they paid will still be with the state and the conviction still stands on their necks.

“It is the unserved part if the term of imprisonment that has been wiped off,” he stressed.