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13 July 2016

Montie FM ‘squad’ to know fate July 18

supreme courtThe Supreme Court has adjourned to July 18 the contempt case involving two panelists of an Accra based radio station Montie FM.

The adjournment is to provide counsel for Alistair Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn, as well as host of a political program, Salifu Maase and owners of the station an opportunity to thoroughly study details of the summons thrown at them by the Court.

The three , and the owners of the station, have a contempt charge hanging around their necks for threatening comments made by Nelson and Ako Gunn on a political show hosted by Salifu Maase.

The two on June 29 threatened to kill judges hearing the Abu Ramadan Vrs EC case in which the former was requesting a deletion of names of NHIS registrants on the voter’s register.

Nelson and Ako Gunn, in the presence of Maase on live radio, accused the judges of granting audience to the applicants, a situation they claimed could threaten the peace of the country.

They therefore threatened to “finish” all of them in order to maintain the peace the country has enjoyed.

Their comments attracted condemnation from individuals, institutions, government but were cited for contempt by the Supreme Court.

The contemnors appeared before the Supreme Court, Tuesday to answer why they should not be held for contempt and jailed accordingly.

Prior to hearing, the Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood, and Justice Sule Gbadegbe both of whom were specifically mentioned in the contemptuous comment by the two political activists recused themselves from the bench and their places were taken by Justice Sophia Akuffo and Justice Julius Ansah.

Joy FM’s Raymond Acquah who was in court reported a tense situation with the judges resolute in their quest not to be dictated to on how to conduct affairs.

Four people lined up before the witness box as contemnors- Edward Addo, owner, Salifu Maase host of Pampaso show, Allistair Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn but the judges were not convinced.

Sophia Akuffo who presided, demanded all the owners of Montie FM to appear before them but counsel for the owners Nana Ato Dadzie said some of the owners were not in the jurisdiction and prayed for more time to bring them.

Edward Addo was dismissed to appear on Monday and the judges turned their attention on the three other contemnors.

Lawyer for Maase, told the court he had filed an affidavit informing the judges about positive comments his client had made, comments he believed will change the mind of the court but the judges were in no mood for pleasantries.

Justice Sophia Akuffo said they had summoned the contemnor for summary trial and will not be dictated to on the procedures to follow.

The lawyer then prayed the court to adjourn the case to allow for more time to study the details of the summons.

Maase then appealed to the judges to hear him, a request the judges granted. He stated that he received the summons only this morning and pleaded for more time for his lawyers to study the case.

The other contemnors pleaded same, with Allistair Nelson claiming he read the summons in a newspaper.

The judges- Baffoe Bonnie, Anim Yeboah, Sophia Akuffo, Julius Ansah and Benin- adjourned hearing to allow lawyers of the contemnors to prepare for their defence.

The presiding judge Sophia Akuffo said they will not countenance any form of excuse on Monday when the court sits to hear the case.

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