The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hanna Tetteh, has described as harsh the sentence given to the host of the ‘Pampaso’ political show on Accra-based Montie FM, Salifu Maase, alias Mugabe, and the two panelists, Alistair Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn, after they were found guilty of contempt.
The two panelists had threatened to kill judges of the Supreme Court during one of the discussions on the show.Mrs. Tetteh, is of the view that, the judges could have “tempered justice with mercy” given the remorse of the convicted trio.
The trio were handed a four-month prison sentence along with a fine of GHc 10,000 each.
In a post on Facebook, the Foreign Affairs Minister noted that, her response to the verdict was not an endorsement of the threats of the Montie FM panelists, but she stated that there have been “previous situations where our esteemed Judges had been attacked and had not responded in the same way.”
What the judges said
According to Citi News’ Fred Djabanor, the Presiding judge, Sophia Akuffo, reading the sentences said the two panelists wilfully attacked the Chief Justice and lowered the authority of the court by insisting that they will not accept its judgment on a controversial matter of the voter’s register.
She also said they also callously reminded the court of the gruesome murder of three High Court judges more than 30 years ago.
She pointed out that there is an element of criminality in their utterances which the Attorney-General should have noticed and acted upon.
Justice Akuffo asserted that the court is deserving of utmost respect if the country’s democracy is to be safeguarded, and that any conduct that seeks to interfere with the judiciary is an act against the community.
According to the Judge, for a very long time, the judiciary has been attacked verbally and viciously, but they remained quiet. She explained that it was not their intent to be punishing people anyhow, but they just want to use this as a caution.
Owners of Montie FM were careless
The justices also said the owners were careless in their submissions to the court, as they appeared to have little or no interest in what transpired on their radio station.
The owners of the station were subsequently fined GHc 30,000 to be paid tomorrow, Thursday, July 28.
Justice Akuffo expressed the hope that, every media owner will henceforth take keen interest in what is churned out on their frequencies.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana