Journalist Kwami Sefa Kayi has stated that the public spectacle that surrounded what has become known as the ‘Montie 3’ was by far his lowest point in 2016.
The comments made by the two radio commentators and their host, their conviction and the remission of their sentences by the president, Mr. Sefa Kayi said, will remain a scar on the nation’s conscience.
“[It was] a low moment that I pray should never be allowed to happen again,” he said on Joy FM/MutltiTV’s news analysis show, Newsfile.
Kwame Sefa Kayi who has hosted one of the biggest radio morning shows in the country, Kokrokoo, on Peace FM for 17 years, was commenting on one of the most topical controversies in 2016 – the ‘Montie 3’.
Three pro-government communicators on a pro-National Democratic Congress (NDC) radio station, Montie FM, threatened to kill some judges of the Supreme Court and cause the Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood, to be raped.
They were upset that the judges were delivering unfavourable judgments against the Election Commission in a case brought against it by Abu Ramadan, a private citizen.
Making the comments on a day commemorating the murder of three High Court in the 1980s, the commentators reminded the Supreme Court judges of the fate that befell their fellow judges decades ago.
The Supreme Court summoned the three, together with owners and managers of the station and charged them with criminal contempt.
They all pleaded guilty with explanation and apologised profusely.
The court, however, sentenced the three communicators to four months’ imprisonment and a fine of 10,000 cedis each.
After the judgment, government ministers and NDC functionaries queued to sign a petition calling on President John Mahama to exercise his power of prerogative of mercy and free the three.
The President did exactly that, generating a flurry of condemnation.
Speaking on the last edition of Newsfile for 2016, Kwami Sefa Kayi prayed that “Never again should we, those of us on radio and television, those of us in the media [generally], never again should we use the power of the media to denigrate, malign and incite people to the extent that a whole Supreme Court has to come in.”
“The whole saga of the ‘Montie 3,’ I think, was an embarrassing moment for all of us – journalists, politician, ordinary everyday Ghanaian, judges – it is a blot on our conscience,” he said.
The radio and TV personality said he was particularly embarrassed because a profession he cherished so much could be brought to such a low ebb.
“And the theatre continued with educated and enlightened people I thought knew better defending it, going ahead to do a petition…and eventually, the president did what he did,” Kwami stressed.
He listed the smooth and peaceful conduct of the December 7 Presidential and Parliamentary elections as his high point of the year.
President John Mahama’s concession even before the Electoral Commission officially declared the election results, for him, was remarkable.