President John Dramani Mahama will exercise his constitutional powers to set prisoners free on Republic Day, July 1, when Ghana marks 55 years, the Prisons Council has revealed.
Chairman of the Prisons Council Rev. Dr. Stephen Wengam revealed that a number of prisoners would be granted amnesty, but the numbers who will walk free have not been revealed.
Amnesty is usually granted on significant holidays such as Independence Day or Republic Day. In 2013, 900 detainees received presidential pardon. Last year, the President granted amnesty to 1,104 detainees during Republic Day.
The power to grant amnesty is enshrined in Article 72 of the 1992 Constitution.
Article 72 of the Constitution allows the President, in consultation with the Council of State, to:
- completely pardon and release or reduce the sentence of an offender;
- suspend execution of a punishment, either indefinitely or for a specified period;
- substitute punishment for a less severe form;
- cancel all or part of a punishment or penalty imposed on a person.
The Prisons Council usually recommends those they believe should be pardoned by the President.
Credit: Joy News