A 28-YEAR-OLD Accounting student who brandished a machete at his 68-year-old mother for which he was in remand for an unspecified period has been discharged unconditionally from the Akuse Local Prisons after spending a month and 11 days in prison.
His release from prison custody came when he remorsefully apologised to the mother and asked for her forgiveness during a Justice for All Programme held at the Akuse Prisons last Friday.
The Justice For All team and the Akuse Local Prison officers
Evans Obessey, a level 200 student of the Zenith University Collage, was in remand at the Akuse Prison after his biological mother, Rose Duku, had reported him to the Atimpoku Police for threat of harm.
But at the Akuse Prisons on Friday during the Justice for All Programme sitting designed to decongest the prisons, Madam Rose Duku, the complainant, shed tears while asking the court to discharge her son.
According to the complainant, she reported the incident to the Atimpoku police because she feared her life was at risk but has now realised that she went far by causing his last born to remanded in the prison.
It was the case of the Obessey that he had been sleeping at a mechanic shop in Accra for years while schooling at the Zenith College.
According to him, the struggles he was going through and the fact that he lost a restaurant job he had been doing to take care of himself and to pay his fees made him to informd the mother to allow him rent out his own room at Akrade, where the family live, to use the money to support himself.
The mother, he said, refused that request and such development frustrated him as a result of which he pulled a machete on mother.
When the matter came up at the Justice for All sitting before the Chairman of Remand Review Taskforce, Justice Clemence Honyenugah, who doubles as a Court of Appeal Judge, Evans knelt before his mother and said, “Mom, I’m sorry, forgive me. It will not happen again. I did that out of frustration, forgive me.”
Obessey, who has deferred his Accounting course at Zenith College, said he realised the repercussion of his action when he was remanded in the prison. He told the court that going forward, he would be law-abiding, show respect to the elderly and the mother at all times.
He also urged his prison mates he was leaving behind and the youth in general to not indulge in way-wardness.
Madam Duku, 68, a mother of three, who was all tears, pleaded with the court to discharge her son because her intention was not to get him detained in prison.
The trader, moments after the discharge of her son, held the hands of her son who was kneeling before her forgiveness, saying “I have forgiven you. I needed not throw my baby out with the bathwater”, and while the mother was speaking, they hugged each other amidst spontaneous clapping from the all present.
At the end of the sitting, one other inmate, Musa Bari, who had spent seven years on remand for an alleged rape, was discharged while 16 were given bail.
Three applications were refused and two were struck out as withdrawn. The total number of inmates dealt with were 23.
Justice Honyenugah, however, cautioned police investigators to ensure that all remand prisoners who had been granted bail were released per the orders of the court.
“I cautioned them that no one remains in the prisons after they have been granted bail otherwise all that we have been doing will just be in vain. Assuming we grant bail to someone today and the next time we come back and he is still here, then what are you doing? We have wasted time and energy but we hope it doesn’t happened.”
He explained that there were moves to decentralise the exercise in the regions but her Ladyship the Chief Justice was yet to take a final decision on this matter.
A Deputy Director of Prisons, Godwin Hoenyedzi, who is the officer in charge of the prison, said there were 67 remand prisoners out of which 23 had been discharge but “the situation is still bad because there is only one cell for remand prisoners, so when the number starts going up it we become worried.”
He expressed gratitude to the Justice For All programme, saying, “That is why the Justice For All programme had come as a relief for us because the 106-year-old prison was designed to house only 90 inmates, but, the prison has 223 convicted prisoners and 67 remand prisoners.”
About Justice for All
The Justice For All programme, which is facilitated by POS Foundation, is a special in-prison court sitting meant to look into the cases of remand prisoners, and prisoners whose trials are unreasonably delayed.
The programme constitutes a key component of the rule of law, access to justice and the sustained promotion and protection of the human rights of prisoners – both remand prisoners and convicted prisoners, and of course, their handlers, who are officials of the Prisons Service, and, by extension, the families of these persons that I have identified.
Through the initiative, hundreds of prisoners have been freed from jail and saved the government purse.
Source: Daily Heritage
POS Foundation represents the youth on the Coalition of the Right to Information (RTI) which is spearheaded by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), Africa office in Accra. The Coalition advocates and organizes activities in promoting and lobbying for the passage of an effective RTI Bill. POS Foundation led the team on an awareness campaign to all the Regions ahead of the Members of Parliament’s (MPs) Regional Consultation on the RTI Bill, while monitoring the consultation process. Representing the youth on the coalition, the Foundation has been mostly responsible for the mobilization and active participation of all protests and matches that have also helped increase pressure on policy makers to push the bill to its current state, now in Parliament.
POS Foundation on behalf of the coalition have engaged Student-journalists at the Ghana Institute of Journalism, the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) and other groups sensitizing them on the bill, its short falls as well as calling on them to push for the speedy passage of the bill. POS Foundation’s boss (RTI steering committee member) who worked at the RTI secretariat on part time basis continues to serve as a resource person on RTI programmes organized by different national NGO’s at different parts of the country of which include the RTI Campaign by the Center for Democratic Development-CDD, Women manifesto and others.
Using the participatory approach with examples drawn from specific group of engagements, the bill, seen as a legal document is practically explained while relating it to the day to day activities of the Ghanaian at different forums for easy understanding. The bill is currently in parliament. (read media publication-www.ghanaweb.com › Opinions › FeatureArticles › 2012-05-16,allafrica.com/stories/201203140579.html)
The UN Universal Periodic Review [UPR] Process is a mechanism for reviewing the Human Rights situation of member countries of the United Nations. It is a universal process that deals with all areas of Human Rights and applies to the then 193, now 194 member states [with the inclusion of South Sudan] of the UN. Ghana’s Human Rights record has been reviewed twice by the Human Rights Council in 2008 and 2012. The 1992 Constitution of Ghana enshrines and upholds the human rights of its people. It guarantees access to justice, protects Human Rights, ensures the autonomy of the media and permits its citizens to contribute to the development of the nation.
At the last UPR cycle in 2012, Ghana accepted more than 120 Recommendations and made some progress in their implementation. This presents an opportunity for Ghanaian Civil Society Organisations to hold the Government accountable for both their successes and failures on the Human Rights front in the international sphere dating from the second UPR cycle in 2012 to the present one in 2017.
The Ghana Human Rights NGOs Forum secretariat at the POS Foundation, the KASA Initiative Ghana, and the UPR Info Africa Office, Kenya, with funding from the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) led Civil Society Organizations whose work directly deal with Human Rights and the Natural Resource and Extractive Sector to document CSOs reports and submitted them to the UN.
Two key outcomes were the submission of 10 reports by indigenous CSOs in Ghana, a landmark achievement, and an understanding that the UPR is a process and not an event – a meeting between diplomacy and Human Rights for a five year journey, which requires continuous engagement and monitoring to hold the government accountable and to improve Human Rights in Ghana.
With the above, POS Foundation has championed the five year process with series of activities to monitor the process in adherence to upholding the human rights of Ghana’s citizens.
Ø Right to Health
Ø Corruption and CHRAJ
Ø Access to Justice and Right to Life
Ø Women and Children’s Rights
Ø Natural Resource and Extractive Industry
Ø Freedom of Expression and the Right to Information
Ø LGBT Rights
Ø Right to Labour
Ø Ghana’s obligations under international Laws