Contempt of Court is easily misused by corrupt judiciary to silence criticism of judicial wrong doing.
It is a device for suppressing free speech and expression.
On july 27 , 2016 two panelists and the host on MONTIE RADIO in Ghana were charged with Contempt of Court. And convicted by Supreme Court of Ghana for “disrespecting” , “scandalizing” and bringing the “reputation” of the Supreme Court in disrepute.
MONTIE 3 were sentenced to 4 months in jail each and given a fine of GHC10000 (2000 British pounds) each. The owner and directors of the station were convicted of same offense. But given a total fine of GHC60000 (12000 British pounds) each or a month in jail each.
Montie (translated as LISTEN ALL OF YOU) Three were reported to have expressed worry and criticized the way Supreme Court was entertaining a case before it. Something to do with purity of Ghana’s Voters Register for December 7 , 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections.
The TRIO disliked suspected attempt to create a NEW VOTERS REGISTER. To satisfy machinations of major opposition political party.
The nation reacted with mixed reactions to the sentencing of the three. Over 100000 citizens have petitioned the president of Ghana. To invoke article 72 of the Constitution , which empowers the president to use power of mercy to pardon , free convicted offenders serving jail terms.
The petitioners see the punishment as harsh , unfair and selective. In view of the fact that others have done worse and have received lighter sentencing. They wonder why judges and justices captured live on video demanding and taking bribes to pervert justice have not be sentenced to jail term and fined upon conviction. Some of the corrupt justices and judges have only been removed from office.
Such officials do bring the judiciary into great disrepute.