My experience in prison was painful, traumatic-Boy jailed 25-yrs over Ghc10 narrates
Abdullah Mohammed now 27, who was jailed 25-years for allegedly stealing Ghc10, has recounted his painful ordeal and how he was wrongfully accused over a crime he did not commit.
Appearing on Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, he lamented his ordeal in the prison was hell because the food they were given was nothing to home about.
He said the ordeal of prisoners in Ghana he noted is horrible and did not reform people who are supposed to be reformed.
Abdullah Mohammed was under 16 years, when he was handed a 25-year jail sentence in the Kumasi Central Prison for allegedly robbing someone of GH¢10.00.
Aside being jailed 25 years as a juvenile, he was also sentenced to an adult prison, where he has already spent 10 years of his jail term. Abdallah Mohammed, 25, had exactly eight days to celebrate his 16th birthday.
Recounting his ordeal, he disclosed how he was arrested by a mob, together with a supposed accomplice, Seidu Elliasu, 25, (trader) at Akwatia Line, Kumasi in the Ashanti region for allegedly attacking one Moro Haruna and robbing him of his GH¢10.00 and bunch of keys.
Abdallah, 15 years old at the time, and his alleged accomplice, Seidu were arraigned before court and were charged on two counts; (a) Conspiracy to commit crime contrary to section 23 (1) of Act 29/60 and (b) Robbery, which is contrary to section 149 of the Criminal Code 1960 of ACT 29.
However, it was revealed through an initiative from Crime Watch and Rainbow Radio that the young man was not informed about the arrest and prosecution, contrary to the provision of juvenile criminal justice law, which required the presence of the parents or guardians of the juvenile before questioning.
According to details provided in court, the complainant, Moro Haruna, who lived in Amoeba, a suburb of Kumasi on June 23, 2009, while returning home from a visit, met both accused persons, Abdallah and Seidu, who attacked him physically and ordered him to surrender everything on him, but according to him (Moro Haruna), he refused to comply with the order.
He said, Seidu then held his shirt against his neck while Abdallah searched his pocket and removed cash of GH¢10.00 and bunch of keys.
But Mohammed says he knew nothing about the incident.
According to him, on the day of the incident, he was only passing through the area with one Rabbi, a neighbour when the people arrested and beat him up.
During cross-examination, the complainant, Haruna and the first accused, Seidu were said to have admitted they did not know the suspect Mohammed.
On July 27, 2009, the court, presided over by His Honour, Emmanuel Amo-Yartey, read his judgement and sentenced the accused persons to 25 years imprisonment with hard labour.
Reacting to all these, Mohammed insisted he was mistakenly arrested, tried and sentenced to 25 years imprisonment with hard labour for a crime he didn’t commit at age 16.
His ordeal, he added was not only painful but traumatic and would not wish that for anyone.
Meanwhile, Mr. George Owoo, Programmes Manager at the Human Rights Advocacy Centre has described the incident as unfortunate.
According to him, Mohammed can file a case against the state because his rights have been abused.
The judgement handed Mohammed he said was unlawful.
He explained the maximum sentence for Mohammed at the time was between 3 months to 3 years months and not 25-years and even with the 3 years it should on crimes including robbery, murder and other high related crimes.