Mahama to grant amnesty on Republic Day

President John Dramani Mahama will exercise his constitutional powers to set prisoners free when Ghana marks 55 years since it became a Republic, the Prisons Council has revealed.

Chairman of the Prisons Council Rev. Dr. Stephen Wengam told Joy FM on the 1st of July he [President Mahama] will be granting amnesty to a number of prisoners.

It is not yet known how many will be granted amnesty.

Amnesty is usually given to mark significant holidays such as Independence Day or Republic Day.

President Mahama has granted amnesty since he began his official duties as President in 2013.

The power was also exercised in 2013, after 900 detainees also received presidential pardon.

Last year, the President granted amnesty to 1,104 detainees during Republic Day.

The power to grant amnesty is stipulated under the Prerogative of Mercy in Article 72 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.

Article 72 of the Constitution states that “The president may, acting in consultation with the Council of State:

grant to a person convicted of an offence a pardon either free or subject to lawful conditions; or discount low price

b. grant to a person a respite, either indefinite or for a specified period, from the execution of punishment imposed on him for an offence; or

c. substitute a less severe form of punishment for a punishment imposed on a person for an offence; or

d. remit the whole or part of a punishment imposed on a person or of a penalty or forfeiture otherwise due to Government on account on any offence.”

The Prisons Council usually recommends those they believe should be pardoned by the President.

Ghana weaned itself from British rule on 1 July 1960. The day marked as a statutory holiday will come July 1, and will be a turning point in the lives of some convicts.