Alleged robbery on former Second Lady: Court hears argument for bail May 13

A suspect, who has spent 10 years and 11 months out of his 45 years jail term, at the Kumasi Central Prisons, for attempted robbery, has been set free following the introduction of the In-Prison Paralegal Programme (IPP) that seeks to help inmates appeal their cases.

Head of the Paralegal Office, Superintendent Samuel Dom­preh, who disclosed this, did not give the name of the freed prisoner, and only said he hailed from the Upper East Region.

Sup Dompreh said out of 23 death cases,15 inmates have also benefited from the programmeby receiving a reduction of their sentences.

Head of the Paralegal Office, told the Ghanaian Times at the in­auguration of the Paralegal Office for the Kumasi Central Prisons, that the programme was helping other inmates who might have had miscarriages of justice.

Sponsored jointly by the GIZ and POS Foundation, a human rights civil society organisation, the office was inaugurated by the Court of Appeal judge and African Court Judge, Justice (Sir) Dennis Adjei.

According to Supt Dompreh, 20 Prisons officers have been trained to offer paralegal services to inmates, and the programmme was having positive impact.

Earlier,at a workshop for jus­tice sector actors on access to legal aid, Justice Adjei reminded the public that persons charged with a criminal offence, must be repre­sented by a lawyer, irrespective of the nature of the offence.

He explained that if accused did not have a lawyer “it is incum­bent upon the state to give the person a lawyer,” otherwise, the person could take the matter up to the African Court for a decision to be taken.

Justice Adjei said “…if a coun­try fails to provide free legal assis­tance to a person who has been charged, the state is in violation of article 14 of the international cove­nant on civil and political rights.”

Mr Jonathan Osei Wusu, Exec­utive Director of POS Foundation, mentioned that the paralegal ser­vices would target both inmates on remand and those convicted unlike the Justice for All Programme that aimed at only remand prisoners.

He noted that the introduc­tion of Justice for All Programme helped to reduce remand prisoner populations from 33 per cent in 2007 to 8.06 per cent as at March 2024, but the convict population was increasing steadily.

The IPP, Mr Wusu said would reduce overcrowding in prisons as some of the inmates, who might have received a miscarriage of justice or excessive sentence would be helped to appeal their cases on self-representation under Article 19(2)(f) of the Constitution, due to financial capacity to hire the service of lawyer.

Deputy Director of Prisons (DDP) Eric Ainoo Ansah, Ashanti Regional Prisons Commander, not­ed the increasing number of the inmates was a grave concern to the Service as the number increases daily, adding that currently male inmates were 1,791 against 600 capacity.


Show More
Back to top button