Born in 1st July, 1993, Mohammad Abdullah, now 26 years is calling on state authorities who matter most in legal matters to have a second look at his case and reconsider his 25 years jail term which he describes as harsh and excessive for a first time offender.
On 23rd June 2009, Mohammed Abdullah who had just about eight (8) days to celebrate his 16th birthday and one Seidu Elliasu(Trader) were arrested by a group of people at Akwatia line, Kumasi in the Ashanti Region at about 11:45pm for attacking one Moro Haruna and robbing him of his Ten Ghana cedis (Gh¢10) and a bunch of keys.
The two suspects after receiving severe beatings from the people were sent to Zongo Police Station. Seidu Elliasu managed to escape, but was rearrested the following day.
The then 15 years old Mohammed Abdullah and his alleged accomplice, Seidu Elliasu were later sent to 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, by a Kumasi Circuit Court presided over by his Honour Emmanuel Amo – Yartey.
The Complainant, Moro Haruna who lived at Aboabo, a suburb of Kumasi stated that, on 23rd day of June 2009, he visited his brother at Akwatia line.
Whilst he was returning to Aboabo at about 11:45pm and on reaching a spot at Akwatia line, he met both accused persons, Mohammed Abdullah and Seidu Elliasu who attacked him physically and ordered him to surrender everything on him, but according to him(Moro Haruna), he refused to comply with such orders.
He said, Seidu Elliasu then held his shirt against his neck whiles Mohammed Abdullah searched his pocket and removed cash of Ten Ghana cedis (Gh¢10) and a bunch of keys.
After that Seidu Elliasu collected the bunch of keys and used it to hit his head and wounded him.
Moro Haruna said he managed to escape from their grips and rushed to inform his brother and others who rushed to the spot where the incident happened and arrested the accused persons.
Seidu Elliasu pleaded to return the Gh¢10 they collected from Moro Haruna in order to settle the case amicably but his plea was not accepted.
Whilst both accused persons were being escorted to the Police Station, Seidu Elliasu struggled with them and managed to escape, and Mohammed Abdellah was handed over to the police for action.
Two days later, Seidu Elliasu was arrested and brought to the police station on a similar offence, and was identified by the complainant (Moro Haruna).
Responding to his accusation, Abdullah who lived at Aboabo said he did not even know his alleged accomplice Seidu Elliasu anywhere. He explains that, 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.
He denied knowing anything about the incident but they did not listen to him.
The embattled Mohammed Abdullah who has already served Ten (10) years of his sentence said he was mistakenly arrested, tried and sentenced to 25 years imprisonment in hard labour, for a crime he didn’t commit at age 16.
During cross examination, the complainant, Moro Haruna and the first accused, Seidu Elliasu admitted they do not know Mohammed Abdullah.
On Thursday 23rd June, 2009 at the Kumasi circuit Court before his honour, Emmanuel Amo-Yartey (Esq), the prosecutor; chief inspector Fandoh said, he preferred the case of the prosecution to that of the accused persons and therefore found the accused persons guilty of the offence and convicted them.
On 27th July, 2009, the court presided over by his Honor Emmanuel Amo-Yartey read his judgement and sentenced the accused persons to 25 years imprisonment in hard labor.
hammed Abdellah is now 26 years, served Ten (10) years and is left with 15 years to serve at the Kumasi central prisons.
On 1st April 2014, the family of Mohammed Abdullah through Alexander Owarae ( Esq) of Sakyiampomaa Chambers in Kumasi served a notice of appeal to the high court in Kumasi to have a second look at the 25 years sentence in hard labour as Mohammed Abdullah and his family were aggrieved by the said sentence and humbly prayed that they may appeal against the sentence.
The grounds of the appeal were that, the honorable court (Kumasi circuit court) failed to deliver it’s judgment on the 27th July, 2009.
Also, the trial judge failed to consider the value of the items involved, but the solicitor of the applicant, failed to pursue the case because of sickness.
AT THE PRISONS
When Seidu Elliasu and Mohammed Abdellah were sent to the Kumasi central prisons to start their sentences, the prisons authorities refused to admit Mohammed Abdellah in their custody on the grounds that Abdullah was too young to be in the same prison with adults.
But the CID in charge of the case, Detective Corporal Osei Asibey Eric with No. 32728 convinced the officers at the prisons to let him there.
The helpless family of the embattled Mohammed Abdullah sees the sentence as harsh, considering their son’s age as at the time of his sentence and pleads with state authorities, CSOs, Human Right Organizations and anyone who matters to intervene and save poor Mohammed Abdullah.
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