Montie jailing: 4- month sentence "too harsh"- GJA Sec.

Jul 27, 2016 at 2:40pm


GJA Secretary- Dave Agbenu
General Secretary of the Ghana Journalists Association, Dave Agbenu, has referred to the 4- month jail term ruling of the MontieFM contemnors as "too harsh".

The Supreme Court found the three contemnors, Alistair Nelson, Godwin Ako Gunn and talk show host, Salifu Maase aka ‘Mugabe’ guilty following their utterances on Montie FM including the issuance of death threats to judges of the Supreme Court as well as scandalizing, defying and lowering the authority of the court and bringing it into disrepute. They were then sentenced to four months imprisonment today, Wednesday.

But Mr. Agbenu in an interview with Starr News a while ago said,

“It’s a sad day for media practice in this country, it shouldn’t have come to this, it shouldn’t have been here at all, it’s unnecessary, it puts us back to the day before we entered into this profession. Its indeed a very sad day.

“We need deterrent but this is not the kind of deterrent we should use to cure the mischief that we intend to cure.”

Owners of the station were also found guilty of contempt and have been fined GHc30,000, to be paid to the court by close of day (Thursday, July, 28) or face a jail term of one month.

Nelson, Ako Gunn and Maase were immediately whisked into a Police van and taken away to the prison where they would serve their sentence.

Early on, Nelson apologised to the apex court for his utterances claiming he was under the influence of a strange disease known in the local parlance as “kpokpogbligbli.”

He promised never to make such comments again.

‘Mugabe’ also pleaded for pardon with the reason that he's been a journalist of good repute for 15 years.

Counsel for the accused persons also pleaded with the court that, their clients are first time offenders and the court should have mercy on them but the presiding judge stated that the media and all radio panelists must learn valuable lessons from today's ruling and stop unnecessary attacks on the courts and its judges.

The utterances of the three were in connection with the case involving the Electoral Commission and Mr Abu Ramadan.

Alistair Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn, who were panelists on ‘Pampaso’, a political programme on Montie FM in Accra on June 29, warned judges of Ghana’s highest court to be wary of their conduct in the case if they did not want to suffer the fate of the three members of the bench who were shot to death and burnt on June 30, 1982 in the era of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).

Source: Ghana/


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