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20 July 2016

Standard must be set in Montie case – Sam Okudzeto

sam okujetoA former President of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), Sam Okudzeto, says it is important the Supreme Court (SC) sets a standard in its ruling on the contempt case before it.

He said the failure to do so will encourage others to perpetuate acts that contradict the court with the hope that when summoned they will beg and be pardoned.

“If you don’t set the standard and an example then it means anybody cannot do anything right because the person sees you and he slaps you and when you turn back he tells you that he is sorry…Then where do we go?” he asked.

The renowned lawyer disclosed this on the MultiTV’s news analysis programme, PM Express when reacting to the contempt case before SC.

The SC is hearing a case in which two panelists of Accra-based Montie FM, Alistair Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn, host of Pampaso programme on the station, Salifu Maase popularly known as Mugabe and the owners of the station are facing a contempt case.

The panelists are alleged to have scandalized the court threatening to murder justices of the court if its ruling in a case filed by a former National Youth Organiser of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Abu Ramadan and Evans Nimako in which they are challenging the credibility of the voters’ register does not go in favour of the Electoral Commission (EC).

The comment of the panelists was made when the nation was marking the 34thAnniversary when three judges of the High Court were murdered by operatives of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).

The panelists, host of the programme and the owners of Montie FM were summoned by justices to face contempt charges. They have all apologized for the role they played and pleaded the justices to temper justice with mercy.

Alistair Nelson said he felt ‘possessed’ by a sickness called ‘Kpokpogbligbli’ which directed him on what to say.

Many Ghanaians have prayed the court to forgive them considering they have shown remorse for what they did but the senior lawyer has disagreed.

Mr Okudzeto said the last thing the court might want to encourage is a lawless society where people infringe on the rights of others without considerations.

“Every society must learn to live in harmony and this means that you have right and others have right too but if yours is likely to affect others you have to watch out,” he said.

Private legal practitioner, Victor Kojoga Adawudu, says the remorse shown by the contemnors is genuine and appealed to the court to be merciful.

According to him, what the contemnors are going through in the hands of the public right from now to July 27 when the court will give its ruling is enough punishment for their misdeed.

 

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