Montie 3 caused Mahama’s defeat – Kweku Baako
The pardoning of the Montie 3 contemnors by President John Mahama in August is partly to blame for the defeat of President John Dramani Mahama in the December polls, Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako has said.
Radio presenter, Salifu Maase alias Mugabe and two panelists, Alistair Tairo Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn were convicted for making contemptuous statements about the Court.
The two threatened the lives of judges of the superior court on Accra-based radio station, Montie FM. They made the statements on a programme known as 'Pampaso' a.k.a. 'Bia Gya' [Open Fire] and hosted by Mugabe. The Supreme Court found them guilty of contempt and sentenced them to a four month prison term each.
Following their conviction, some supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and some government appointees held vigils for them and signed petitions calling on the President to pardon them.
"The President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama has, in consultation with the Council of State and in exercise of his constitutional powers under Article 72 of the Constitution, remitted the remaining prison sentence imposed on three persons: Salifu Maase (alias Mugabe), Alistair Nelson and Ako Gunn who were sentenced to 4 months imprisonment and a fine of ¢10,000.00 each for contempt of court.
The remission is effective 26th August 2016,” a statement from the Presidency on Monday August 22, 2016 and signed by Communications Minister, Edward Omane Boamh read.
Thus on the morning of 26th August, 2016, after their lawyers had completed all relevant processes to facilitate their release, the three walked out of prison in suit to great cheers from family, friends, government appointees and other loved ones.
Some commentators saw the remission as a slap in the face of the Judiciary, while others said the President has only exercised his prerogative of mercy under Article 72 of the Constitution.
Four months after their release from incarceration, President Mahama who was touted as ‘compassionate man’ for releasing the Montie 3 was crushed in an election. He polled 44.4% as against opposition candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo’s 53.85%.
And Kweku Baako commenting on his defeat on Peace FM’s Kokrokoo Programme Wednesday said, the release of the Montie 3 is partly to blame for the defeat of the President.
Kweku Baako claimed, despite the fact that he was not in support of their conviction by the Supreme Court for contempt, he still believed the pardon by the President was not the best.
“I wasn’t happy with the incarceration, the custodial sentence but post that event, to cure that mischief, we said that Presidential pardon would be a disaster…and it indeed happened,” Kweku said.
To him, the President would have been better off if he had left the three to complete their custodial sentence especially as the Montie 3 never contributed positively to the campaign of the 2016 campaign of the NDC.
“The guys never showed remorse, they instead skinned the likes of us apart and they thought that thing had no effect? Their release had an effect on a wide section of middle class…they didn’t see that as an examples of accountable governance…comments by the Montie 3 at rallies of the NDC didn’t indicate they have shown remorse and you think that wasn’t going to have an effect?,” he queried.
The excessive vile propaganda against president-elect, Nana Akufo-Addo by communicators, he added also contributed significantly to the defeat of the NDC.