Source: citifmonline.com - The trial and the imprisonment of the gunman who claims he went to the president’s church last Sunday to assassinate him has been described as flawed, according to private legal practitioner, John Ndebugri.
Explaining his stance on the matter, Lawyer Ndebugri said the use of pen to make changes on the charge sheet was “inappropriate” coupled with the lack of proper investigation into the matter before the ruling was given.
“There is an insertion with pen with no initials which is inappropriate,” he complained, adding that “it was neatly cancelled with pen…and that is already a flaw. He ought to have looked at that and refuse to deal with the matter.”
“The process that took place today is a bit flawed I dare say…there seems to be more to it than it meets the eye and I would have recommended that more serious investigations ought to have been done before it was determined,” he said on Eyewitness News.
On Tuesday, a 36-old-man called Charles Antwi was sentenced to 10 years in prison by an an Accra Circuit Court 48 hours after his arrest.
He confessed in open court that he indeed wanted to kill the president last Sunday.
Antwi was arrested after he was spotted with a gun at the Ringway Assemblies of God Church; the place of worship for the President and his family.
The quick sentencing of Antwi has however given rise to a public debate over his state of mind and the judge’s ruling.
Some are of the view that since the suspect had no legal representation, the Judge’s sentencing was unlawful.
Some also argue that the outright confession of Antwi points to the fact that he is psychologically unstable and the Judge should have referred him to a psychiatric hospital for assessment before sentencing him.
But others say there was no need for a long trial since the suspect pleaded guilty and confessed to the crime.
Sharing his thoughts on the matter on Eyewitness News, Lawyer Ndebugri said probably, because the court wanted to hurry up proceedings, it amended the charge.
The suspect was charged with possession of firearms without lawful excuse contrary to Section 11 of NRCD 9 (1972) but according to Ndebugri, the offense under Section 192 (1) is a first degree felony that cannot be trialed by a Circuit court but by a High Court or on indictment by the High Court.
“You cannot prosecute under Section 192 unless you have the written consent of the Attorney General…but the other thing is that Section 192 was appropriate because it was such a serious offence…so I think that possibly, that is the reason why they did it [amended the charge].
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