General Secretary of the Ghana Journalists Association, Dave Agbenu, has described the four months jail term handed down to the Montie contemnors as a sad.
Mr. Agbenu told Starr News “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”.
The Supreme Court jailed the three contemnors, Alistair Nelson, Godwin Ako Gunn and talk show host Salifu Maase aka ‘Mugabe’ in the Montie FM case to four months’ imprisonment on Wednesday after they were found guilty for issuing death threats to judges of the Supreme Court.
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 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.
The accused were found guilty for scandalizing the court, defying and lowering the authority of the court and bringing it into disrepute by the court presided over by Justice Sophia Akuffo.
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’ has also pleaded for forgiveness because he has been a journalist of good repute for 15 years.
Their lawyers pleaded with the court that, they 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.
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 involving the Electoral Commission and Mr Abu Ramadan 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).