The two panelists, and the host of the ‘Pampaso’ show on Accra-based Montie FM, who were convicted of contempt and jailed by the Supreme Court on Wednesday, have been taken to the country’s major prison facility at Nsawam.
Alistair Nelson, Godwin Ako Gunn and Salifu Maase, alias Mugabe, were sentenced to serve four months in jail on Wednesday, after being found guilty of contempt by the apex court, for threatening the lives of the judges who were presiding over a case on the credibility of the voters’ register.
One of the lawyers of the trio, George Loh, confirmed this on Eyewitness News on Thursday.
“My understanding is that they are at the Nsawam prison” he said, when quizzed by the host of the show, Richard Dela Sky, on the whereabouts of the convicts.
The trio, were also ordered to pay an amount of 10, 000 cedis each or risk serving an extra month in jail.
The lawyers for the trio say they intend to petition President Mahama to pardon them, prompting the opening of a petition book today [Thursday].
The book, opened by a group calling itself the Research and Advocacy Platform (RAP), has 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 deputy Chief of Staff, Valerie Sawyerr.
Others have applauded the judges for the sentence given to the three persons.
A private legal practitioner, John Ndebugri, said that the 4-month jail terms given to the them were appropriate for the offences they were convicted of.
“I think that the sentences are appropriate…A message has to be sent very clearly to media practitioners, social commentators and lawyers like myself who don’t want to understand the meaning of the judicial process so that red lines are drawn and once you cross them, you come within the firing line and you’ll be fired,” Ndebugri said on the Citi Breakfast Show.
Montie 3 should have been jailed 6-months
Meanwhile, a Former President of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), Sam Okudjeto, has opined that the trio should have been handed a minimum of six months prison sentence.
He argued that the four-month prison sentence is not enough to serve as a deterrent to others.
“If I were there, I would have given them more than that because I am so worried about what I call irresponsibility that has almost crept into political arena whereby people use the television and radio as a platform for vulgar abuse, threats.That is not what the media is meant for and I think that a lot of characters that are appearing on television should not be allowed. The station itself should have been punished heavier for them to put down rules, the rules which says that when you come here no abuse, no insult.”
“I would have preferred to have given them at least six months and then ban them for a year or two to be of good behavior.”
Lawyer Sam Okudjeto also said it was immaterial that the three had apologized, saying the apology could not have undone the harm their utterances would have caused.