‘Assassin’s’ mother pleads…Please, free my son

•    Charles Antwi (middle), being escorted by  Police Investigators to begin his jail sentence.            Photo:  Ebo Gorman

• Charles Antwi (middle), being escorted by Police Investigators to begin his jail sentence.
Photo: Ebo Gorman

Afia Agyapongmaa, the mother of Charles Antwi, who was jailed 10 years for unlawful possession of fire- arms, insists that her son was mentally challenged.

She has, therefore, pleaded for his release to enable him to receive treatment.

She said Antwi, 36, had battled with mental illness for more than two years, and was, therefore not in a stable condition when he planned to assassinate President John Mahama at the Assemblies of God Church, Osu branch.

Agyapongmaa, who described the verdict of the circuit court as “harsh”, said   her son often announced publicly that he would kill the President, but no one took him seriously.

She said the family did all it could by sending him to churches and prayers camps for healing but were not successful.

Antwi was arrested by the police on Sunday, July 26, with a hidden gun and thereafter charged for possessing firearms without authority.

He was dragged to court on Tuesday and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment after pleading guilty to the charge

In a related development, the brother of the convict, has told journalists that the BNI had information Antwi had previously been treated for mental illness.

Prior to his sentence, the prosecution had told the Presiding Judge, Justice Francis Obiri that Charles Antwi was mentally sound, but his brother Kwame Opoku, with whom Charles lived before the incident, said he led officials of the BNI to the Tafo Government Hospital where the convict had previously sought treatment.

He said Charles had travelled to Italy en route to Libya, en route to Italy, but was deported, adding that it was when he arrived in Ghana that they later detected that he was having a mental problem.

According to him, all efforts by the family to get Antwi healed were not successful as his mental instability kept recurring.  He had, on some occasions, threatened to kill his own mother, Mr. Opoku recounted.

While in Accra, Mr. Opoku said Antwi lived a normal life without the least suspicion of his intention to assassinate Ghana’s President. He never sighted a gun on him or spotted one in his custody.

All along, he said, Antwi had been telling him of his plans to travel back to Libya with the support of a friend.

Anytime Antwi went out, like he did on Sunday, the thinking had always been that he was working on his travelling arrangements, Opoku said.

He was therefore, surprised when news broke out that his brother’s interior motive was to oust the First Gentleman of the land.

Mr. Opoku said the family was yet to make a decision to appeal against Antwi’s incarceration.

By Times Reporter  

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