The President of the Catholic Bishops Conference, Most Rev. Joseph Osei Bonsu, has criticized those calling on President John Mahama to grant a presidential pardon to the Montie trio jailed four months for contempt of court.
Rev. Osei Bonsu held that any attempt to alter the judgement of the bench will undermine the Judiciary and the principle of separation of powers.
Two Montie FM panelists; Alistair Nelson, John Ako-Gunn and the host of ‘Pampaso’ programme,, Saalifu Maase, a.k.a Mugabe, were jailed four months in prison after they were found guilty of threatening the lives of Supreme Court justices who were presiding over a case on the credibility of the voters’ register on a live radio programme.
In an interview with CITI FM, Bishop Osei Bonsu indicated that “We have three arms of government, the judiciary, legislature and executive. The judiciary are doing their work as specialized by being interpreters of the law, therefore, if a case has come before them and they think those who perpetrated the act needs to be jailed four(4)months, who am I to tell them the sentence is too short or too long.”
“Why put pressure on the President to grant a pardon? If you do that, then it means that from now on, anytime the Supreme Court jails a person, the president will have to come in and grant a pardon. In any case, it is not the first time that Supreme Court has jailed people,” he added.
Petitions for the pardon of the three have garnered signatures from notable NDC officials and government appointees including a Deputy Education Minister in charge of tertiary, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Minister of Education, Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyeman and the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare. But Most Rev. Osei Bonsu’s message to such individuals clamoring for a presidential pardon for the three was that they “should just leave the Supreme Court to do its work and that they shouldn’t put any pressure on the President.”