Read a copy of petition below
YOUR EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA FLAGSTAFF HOUSE ACCRA
JOINT PETITION TO YOUR EXCELLENCY, JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA, FOR THE EXERCISE OF YOUR PREROGATIVE OF MERCY UNDER ARTICLE 72 OF THE 1992 CONSTITUTION
Humbly, the joint petition of Salifu Maase (alias Mugabe) (“1st Petitioner”), Godwin Ako Gunn (“2nd Petitioner”) and Alistair Tairo Nelson (“3rd Petitioner”) (collectively referred to as “Petitioners”) states as follows:
We are citizens of the Republic of Ghana, who are now in Nsawam Prisons. We are in prison by reason of conviction by the Supreme Court for contempt of court in a judgment dated 27th July 2016.
That 1st Petitioner was, prior to his conviction, the host of “Pampaso” a radio discussion Programme on Montie 100.1 fm (“the Programme”). 2nd and 3rd Petitioners were panelists on the Programme.
That on 24th and 29th of June 2016, during the Programme, we made certain statements about the Honourable Chief Justice and some Justices of the Supreme Court which, after reflection, were most unfortunate and regrettable.
We concede that the statements should not have been made at all, and, indeed, we never intended to harm anybody.
As soon as we realized that we should not have made the statements, we, in subsequent broadcasts, expressed remorse and rendered unqualified apologies for our statements.
We continue to express remorse and apology for the statements we made. As punishment, the owners of the radio station suspended 1st Petitioner as host of the Programme, and banned 2nd and 3rd Petitioners from appearing on the Programme.
On 12th July, 2016, the Supreme Court summoned us to appear before it, together with the owners of the radio station, to show cause why we should not be committed to prison for contempt of court for:
scandalizing the court;
defying and lowering the authority of the court; and bringing the authority of the court into disrepute.
We, the Petitioners, admitted our guilt and apologized for our conduct, and pleaded for mercy and forgiveness. We also pleaded for leniency.
The court, however, convicted us and, despite our plea for leniency and obvious show of remorse, sentenced each of us to four (4) months imprisonment, together with a fine of GHc 10,000.00 each or in default a further term of 1 month.
We have since paid the fines and are currently serving our prison terms at the Nsawam Medium Security prison.
We admit that our statements were unguarded, but we plead that the sentence is harsh and excessive.
We humbly reiterate that we never intended to harm anybody.
1st Petitioner says that he is a practicing journalist, and that he unfortunately got carried away whilst hosting the Programme.
2nd and 3rd Petitioners say that they made the unfortunate statements as panelists during a topical discussion on our electoral processes and related matters.
We unreservedly apologized for our conduct before the court, and continue to do so.
We humbly petition Your Excellency, the President of the Republic, to exercise your prerogative of mercy under Article 72 of the 1992 Constitution. We are law-abiding citizens of this dear country of ours who were contributing to topical issues of the day, but, unfortunately, got carried away.
We are first offenders.
We expressed, and continue to express, remorse for our unguarded statements and humbly reiterate that in making those statements we never intended to harm any person.
We have learnt our lessons and promise to be guided by this bitter and painful experience.
In petitioning Your Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana, to exercise your prerogative of mercy, we humbly ask you also to please take into consideration the fact that we have young families who have been embarrassed and devastated by our unfortunate conduct and our subsequent incarceration.
Your humble Petitioners have been completely devastated by both the severity and harshness of the custodial sentences together with the fines.
Your Excellency, Mr. President, we pray for mercy from you as the father of the nation.
Wherefore your humble Petitioners pray that you, Your Excellency, may kindly exercise your prerogative of mercy under Article 72 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, and grant relief to your humble Petitioners. Your humble Petitioners pray accordingly.
1. ………………………………… SALIFU MAASE (alias MUGABE)
2. ………………………………… GODWIN AKO GUNN
3. …………………………………. ALISTAIR TAIRO NELSON