The Member of Parliament Adansi Asokwa, KT Hammond has chided Ministers who have signed the petition seeking a presidential pardon for the jailed Montie FM trio for putting undue pressure on John Dramani Mahama. “I have not in my life seen a bunch of ungrateful Ministers like the current crop of ministers. If any of them are really my friends I would stop talking to them because I wouldn’t have thought that they would have good influence on me. I think they are extremely ungrateful and it’s about time the president sat down and considered who his true friends and ministers are. How can you possibly dream of putting this much pressure on your president?,” KT Hammond said on Eyewitness News
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Alistair Nelson, Godwin Ako Gunn and Salifu Maase, alias Mugabe were sentenced to serve four months in jail , after being found guilty of contempt by the Supreme Court, for threatening the lives of the judges who were presiding over a case on the credibility of the voters’ register.
Some persons, including the Foreign Affairs Minister, Hanna Tetteh, have described the jail-term given to the three as excessive.
President Mahama has since come under intense pressure from supporters of from members of his own party the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to sanction the release of the trio.
The lawyers for the trio confirmed to Citi News that they petitioned the President over the matter, prompting the opening of a petition book last week.
The book, opened by a group calling itself the Research and Advocacy Platform (RAP), has so far garnered several signatures including those of high-profile government officials including the Minister of Education in charge of Tertiary, Sam Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare and the Education Minister, Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang.
Other notable people who signed the petition include the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, founder of the Ghana Freedom Party, Akua Donkor and an official at the presidency, Valerie Sawyerr.
KT Hammond, believes that the ministers are not appreciative enough of the of the Supreme Court and the President given that they only occupy their current positions because of the apex court’s dismissal of the New Patriotic Party (NPP)’s election petition case following the 2012 elections.
“These people are ministers because of this same Supreme Court. We went to court because we felt they lost the election, the Court ruled in their favour. It is by virtue of that decision that Mahama became president and they became ministers. They should be grateful to the Supreme Court and of course inherently grateful to the president. They turn round, gang up and put this much pressure on the president to get him to reverse the ruling, knowing the scandal that decision, that approach, the effects it would lead to. It is so scandalous that I wouldn’t have thought that any member of his government would put that much pressure on him,” he said.
KT Hammond said that if President Mahama uses his prerogative of mercy in this instance, it would send a wrong message that he endorses the comments they made on the show.
“It’s going to mean it’s a field day for everybody. These boys are on record for saying they did it for the president. The president invoking that clause and setting them free would vindicate them. They would say they did it for the president and there they are,” he added.
KT Hammond advised President Mahama not to cave in to the pressure from his party and the Ministers
“Be firm, there are better sources of pressure than this. Clearly. I think he [President Mahama] knows it. Even the chairman of the NDC in his statement accepted that the statements made by those boys were useless. I’m sure a majority of the good ones – there aren’t a lot of good people in the NDC but I’m sure there is a bunch of good ones – will counsel the president and tell him the effect,” he said
They convicted men are being held at the Nsawam prison, one of the country’s major prison facilities.