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28 July 2016

Judges’ lives not more important than others – Chris Ackumey

AkumeyA lawyer for the governing National Democratic Congress is incensed by the four month jail term handed a host and two panelists of an Accra based radio station Montie FM.

Chris Ackumey told Joy News the judges were not only “capricious” but were “unfair” in throwing Alistair Nelson, Gordon Ako-Gunn, and Salifu Maase into prison for that long and for demanding 30,000 cedis each from owners of the station.

He was particularly sad that the man who attempted to kill the president in the past; the MP who asked Ashantis to kill Gas and Ewes were both freed by the judges only for them to throw the Montie gang into jail.

“The life of a judge is not more important than any other individual,” he stated adding if the perpetrators of those crime were freed by the judges then they were harsh and unfair in the sentences they handed the contemnors.

He said what happened at the Supreme Court, Wednesday, fell short of the fair trial Ghana’s constitution espouses.

Background

The host of the Pampaso political program on Montie FM, Salifu Maase popularly known as Mugabe together with his two panelists Ako Gunn and Alistair Nelson were hauled before the Supreme Court for contempt after they threatened to kill judges sitting on a case brought against the Electoral Commission.

They pleaded guilty as charged and were sentenced to four months jail term in addition to a 10,000 cedis fine each.

The directors and owners of the station were not left out of the contempt charge.

Edward Addo, Ato Ahwoi and Kwesi Kyei Atuah and Harry Zakour all of whom pleaded guilty were spared the torture a jail sentence may bring to them and their families but must pay the court 30,000 cedis each by close of day tomorrow or be jailed.

The judges said they took into consideration the mitigating pleas by counsel for the contemnors but at the same time needed to hand a punitive measure that will be deterrent enough to check the state of recklessness and irresponsibility in the media.

The verdict by the court has triggered mixed reaction from members of the public. Whilst a good number of people applaud the verdict, others have described it as harsh.

Perhaps the most vehement criticism against the Supreme Court judges is the one from Chris Ackumey who is convinced the judges were harsh and unfair to the Montie contemnors.

He said it was perverse for the contemnors to appear before the same court and against the same judges against whom the contemptuous comments were made.

He would rather the case is investigated by the police or prosecuted by the Attorney General and handled in a different court other than the Supreme Court.

The former Executive Director of the Media Foundation West Africa Prof Kwame Karikari in his comment on the issue advised the media to begin self regulate or risk having the court to regulate its activities.

 

Source: Ghanaweb

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