The Supreme Court in a 5-2 majority decision has dismissed the ‘Montie 3’ case.
The majority decision which was endorsed by Justice Sophia Adinyira, Justice Paul Baffoe- Bonnie, Justice A. A Benin, Justice Yaw Appau and Justice Anin Yeboah indicated that the president’s powers cannot be questioned by the Supreme Court in the grant of pardon, since his authority to remit a conviction covers that of contempt.
In the year 2016, Salifu Maase aka Mugabe, a former radio show host at Montie FM, Ako-Gunn and Allistar Taipei Nelson, two panelists who were on Montie FM were sentenced to four months imprisonment each by the Supreme Court on July 27, 2016 for scandalising the court, and were also fined GH¢10,000 each.
The two panelists threatened the lives of judges of the Apex Court, especially those who had heard the case on the credibility of the country’s electoral roll filed by Abu Ramadan and Evans Nimako against the Electoral Commission (EC).
The trio were found guilty of scandalising the court, defying and lowering its authority and bringing its name into disrepute.
Shortly after the apex court’s decision, the Former President John Dramani Mahama, in August 2016, remitted the convicts’ sentences from four months to one month, which they served, after a petition was sent to the former president.
The three consolidated writs filed by Mr. Elikplim Agbemeva, Mr. Alfred Yeboah and Nana Asante Bediatuo argued that the purported grant of a remission of the punishment of four months imposed on Salifu Maase aka Mugabe, Allistar Tapei Nelson and Ako-Gunn, was in excess of the powers conferred on the President of Ghana by Article 72(1) of the 1992 Constitution, an unjustified interference with the independence of Judiciary and thus an affront to the Constitution of Ghana.
Article 72(1) states that the President may, acting in consultation with the Council of State-
(a) grant to a person convicted of an offence a pardon either free or subject to lawful conditions; or
(b) grant to a person a respite, either indefinite or for a specified period, from the execution of punishment imposed on him for an offence; or
(c) substitute a less severe form of punishment for a punishment imposed on a person for an offence; or
(d) remit the whole or part of a punishment imposed on a person or of a penalty or forfeiture otherwise due to Government on account on any offence.