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Ursula Owusu, Ama Ataa Aidoo chide "Montie 3" petitioners
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General News of Thursday, 4 August 2016

Source: New Statesman

Ursula Owusu, Ama Ataa Aidoo chide "Montie 3" petitioners

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for Ablekuma West, and Ama Ataa Aidoo, former Minister of Education under the erstwhile Rawlings administration, have condemned the manner in which ministers of state are signing a petition calling on President Mahama to grant pardon to the three 'Montie' convicts.

The Supreme Court, presided by Justice Sophia Akuffo, found the three guilty of scandalizing the court, defying and lowering the authority of the court, and bringing it into disrepute.

Since the trio was jailed, ministers of state and leading members of the governing NDC have mounted pressure on the president to free them, an act that has attracted condemnation from various sections of society.
According to Madam Owusu-Ekuful, the ministers who have signed the petition are demonstrating to the whole world that they support the actions of the three convicted persons who ran down the judiciary in derogatory terms.
The Ablekuma West MP particularly took a swipe at the Gender and Social Protection Minister, Nana Oye Lithur, Betty Mould Iddrisu, former Attorney General, Prof Jane Opoku Agyemang, Minister of Education, and Valerie Sawyerr, Presidential staffer, for abetting the despicable comments from the 'Montie 3' by the signing the petition.
She explained that as members of FIDA, an organization set up to fight for the promotion and protection of women's right, they should have known better.
"We expected them to use this case as a teachable moment to educate the public about women's rights and rape as gender based violence which constitutes a heinous assault on the physical, psychological and emotional well-being of victims. Instead they are leading the charge to pardon the convicts. This is indeed a sad day for women and the fight for women's rights in Ghana," he noted.

The MP added: "A few weeks ago these same women jumped to the defence of the EC chairperson whom they consider a friend but they don't think the Chief Justice and Sophia Akuffo JSC deserve their attention. This attitude smacks of the highest level of hypocrisy and is contemptible. Every woman in this country who is unfairly attacked, regardless of her status, political affiliation or background, deserves the protection of all who have elected to speak up and defend the women of Ghana, particularly those who are paid with our taxes to work for all of us."

According to Ursula, "the sad fact is that the radio station was set up for the sole purpose of denigrating, insulting, vilifying and running down anyone they consider an opponent of the President and the NDC. No section of society has escaped their insults and they have been operating for almost 2 years," the MP observed.
She said the three convicted persons could have been saved from jail time if those calling on the President to grant them a pardon had called them to order.
She added, "None of those appealing for mercy now ever saw the need to caution them and call them to order. They actively encouraged them to continue on their destructive path of demonizing everything decent in our society."
Meanwhile, Ama Ata Aidoo believes the petition is not only embarrassing but equally places the President in a dilemma as to whether he should listen to the few ministers in his party or allow the separation of powers to work.
In a statement, the renowned writer noted: "issuing any kind of death threats on any kind of individuals in Ghana or anywhere else in the world is a crime", adding that anyone who issues such threats should be ready to face the consequences of their actions.
She added: "No one who is interested in Ghana as a wholesome space for all human beings, and especially for its young growing population, would want to sign this particular petition to the President of the Republic."
The renowned author and academic said pardoning the three would send the wrong message to the entire country, adding that President Mahama "should join the whole of Ghana to take the opportunity of this rather unfortunate affair as a wake-up call."
She continued, "threatening members of the Supreme Court with violence is certainly not a crime that should be in any way overlooked or pardoned," stressing that the NDC must hold itself and its members accountable, "and be ready to face up to any errors and address them as meaningfully as possible."

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