Lawyers for three persons who filed a consolidated suit against the constitutionality of former President John Dramani Mahama’s decision to pardon three Montie FM persons who were jailed for contempt, have been asked by the Supreme Court to file their independent legal arguments simultaneously within 21 days.
This was after the lawyers had filed joint memoranda of service on the orders of the apex court.
The consolidated suit was filed by Elikplim Agemeva, Alfred Yeboah and Nana Asante Bediatuo against the Attorney General.
Before a seven-member panel presided over by Justice Sophia Adinyira, Dr. Ernest Owusu Dapaah, lawyer for Elikplim Agbemeva, told the court that they had filed the memoranda of service and prayed the court to adopt same.
Other members of the panel are Justices Jones Dotse, Anin Yeboah, Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, A.A. Benin, Yaw Apau and Gabriel Pwamang.
Granting the plea of the lawyer, Justices Adinyira noted that the memoranda of issue would be taken as the issues to be tackled and subsequently asked the lawyers to file their legal arguments within 21 days.
She stated that if there were any replies to the legal arguments, they would be done orally in the court.
The court then adjourned the matter sine die (indefinitely).
Monitie 3 Missing
The three ex-convicts (popularly known as Montie 3) who are the subject of the suit, were nowhere to be found when the case was called.
Their lawyers were also absent as it was only the lawyers for the applicants who announced themselves.
The Attorney General was represented by Grace Oppong, a Principal State Attorney.
In February last year, the Supreme Court ordered the consolidation of the three separate suits challenging the constitutionality of former President Dramani Mahama granting amnesty to the Montie 3 radio panelists – Alistair Nelson, Godwin Ako Gunn and Salifu Maase aka Mugabe (host of the “Pampaso” political programme on Accra-based Montie FM).
In the view of the seven-member panel of judges, the issues raised in the various suits are identical.
The court at the last sitting chided the lawyers for their inability to do so, more than a year after the order was given.
The lawyers however, pleaded with the court, saying it was due to circumstances beyond their control.
It will be recalled that the apex court in July 2016 jailed Salifu Maase and two other panelists for 4 months each for contempt of court.
The five-member panel of Judges at that time, presided over by Justice Sophia Akuffo, had also ordered Mugabe and the other contemnors- Godwin Ako Gunn, 39 and Alistair Tairo Nelson, 41, both National Democratic Congress (NDC) activists – to pay a GH¢10,000 fine or in default serve another one month in jail.
Mugabe had told his panelists to open fire on the justices by attacking them with threats of death in addition to allowing a certain Nash of Mataheko to “marry” then Chief Justice Georgina Wood.
Even before the trio could serve a month in jail, a desk to gather signatures intended to mount pressure on then President Mahama to invoke the Pardon Clause in (Article 72) of the 1992 Constitution was mounted at the premises of Radio Gold – a sister station to Montie FM.
President Mahama eventually succumbed to the pressure to free the three paddies.
In the case of Nana Badiatuo, the plaintiff amongst other reliefs, is seeking a declaration that the president’s action at the time was unconstitutional and also a further order from the court to have the Montie 3 serve their sentences in full.
BY Gibril Abdul RazakRead Full Story