There are concerns among some prisons authorities that nothing has been done two weeks after President John Dramani Mahama announced amnesty for 896 prisoners.
A statement from the Flagstaff House two weeks ago read: “President John Dramani Mahama has, in commemoration of the 56th Republican Anniversary of the Republic of Ghana, granted amnesty to a total of eight hundred and ninety-six (896) prisoners”.
The 1992 Constitution Article 72 (1)(a-d) enjoins the President of the Republic, acting in consultation with the Council of State, to exercise the Prerogative of Mercy or just grant amnesty to convicted people.
“Nothing has happened two weeks after the announcement. Last year, the pardoned prisoners were out by this time. It doesn’t however look as though anything is being done about it”, an officer at the Kumasi Prisons recounted on anonymity.
He explains that feet dragging by prisons authorities is not healthy especially considering conditions of overcrowding in the various prisons and also the health of many of the potential beneficiaries.
Some Prisons authorities at the Kumasi prisons are unhappy with the unnecessary delays and call on higher ups to fast track the process of making the list and release letters available within the shortest possible time.
The pardoned prisoners are in the following categories:
First Offenders – 813
Seriously ill – 16
Aged 70 years and above – 63
Special Case (Double Amputee) – 1
Death row commuted to Life Imprisonment – 3
rawgist.com also found ways to speak to some of the inmates who lamented the maltreatment and awful treatment meted out to them. They complain of very bad food, a lack of ventilation and highly insanitary conditions there that predispose them to a host of health conditions.
rawgist.com will follow the issue of the amnesty and update readers in due time.