A renowned Criminologist, Conflict Resolution Expert and legal practitioner, Professor Ken Attafuah has described as a huge political gaffe President John Dramani Mahama’s decision to exercise his prerogative of mercy enshrined in the 1992 Constitution of Ghana to remit the infamous ‘Montie 3’ from prison.
Following recommendations by the Council of State, His excellency President John Mahama has, in accordance with his constitutional powers under Article 72 of the Constitution, remitted the remaining prison sentence imposed on three persons: Salifu Maase (alias Mugabe), Alistair Nelson and Ako Gunn who were sentenced to 4 months imprisonment and a fine of GHȻ10,000.00 each for contempt of court.
In the statement signed by Dr Omane Boamah, the President reminds all Ghanaians to “guard against the use of intemperate language which has the potential of causing unnecessary tension”.
But according to Professor Attafuah, even though President Mahama has every right to exercise his presidential pardon to any convicted person, the circumstance leading to the remission of the ‘Montie 3’ makes the exercise wrong.
Speaking on Okay FM’s ‘Ade Akye Abia’ Morning Show, Professor Attafuah insisted that President Mahama has goofed not for breaking a law but due to the circumstance surrounding the sentence of the ‘Montie 3’.
“I believe the President has goofed, and he has not goofed for breaking a law but he has goofed due to the circumstance surrounding the sentence of the Montie 3. The mindset behind the usage of the constitutional power is the issue we are discussing now,” he asserted.
He explained that it is unheard of that after 3 weeks into a 4-month sentence, the President exercises his prerogative of mercy to free them on the account that they have shown remorse for their actions.
He mentioned that, normally the circumstance that attracts Presidential pardon has to do with people who have served their prison sentence for many years and may be facing health challenges in prison.
“The power is prerogative of mercy; it is not power used to free loved ones from prison. The Presidential oath is to exercise the powers of the State without ill-will or affection . . . it is a power which should not be used anyhow to show that we love others and they are our members and we believe that they have regretted their actions and so we are setting them free.”
He asserted that the Montie 3 are ardent supporters of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the NDC officials have petitioned the President to release them and thus he has listened to their call to use his constitutional power to set them free because they were pursuing the NDC cause on radio.
Source: Daniel Adu Darko/Peacefmonline.com.gh