AG seeks to set aside verdict on Mahama's gunman

The Attorney General has filed an application at an Accra Fast Track High Court seeking to set aside a ruling of a Circuit Court that sentenced Charles Antwi, the gunman jailed ten years after he confessed an intention to kill President John Mahama.

According to the state, the trial judge, Justice Obiri, erred in his judgment because there was an error on the face of the record. The state is further asking for a retrial and a thorough examination of the convict, who has been confirmed mentally unstable.

Charles Antwi was jailed ten years for visiting the church where President Mahama worships with a fully loaded gun with the intention to kill him. 

He had pleaded guilty to the charge of unlawful possession of the firearm. He confessed to the Circuit Court that he had wanted to assassinate the president.

Although the convict’s utterances gave a clue about a possible mental instability, the Judge said his action was premeditated and that he was sane.

Many Ghanaians including lawyers, have faulted the process leading to the incarceration of Charles Antwi which took place in less than three days of his arrest. He was also not represented by any legal counsel.

Meanwhile, a private legal practitioner, Godwin Adjei-Gyamfi, has also petitioned Amnesty International to investigate Charles Antwi’s sentencing. 

Renowned Human Rights  Lawyer, Francis-Xavier Sosu, who has filed an application to compel the court to subject Charles Antwi to a thorough psychological assessment, has welcomed the move.

That application is to be heard on Friday August 21. Francis-Xavier Sosu is of the firm conviction that there was a gross miscarriage of justice in the trial, and feared Ghana’s human rights record may be tainted if the judgment is not revisited.

“What we want to do is to proceed under article 33 of the 1992 constitution and bring an application for certiorari to quash the decision of the judge. Certiorari applications are  sustainable on two grounds; there must be either jurisdictional error or there must be error of law on the face of the record; and that error must be so patent that it has led to a miscarriage of justice. Now, the court had jurisdiction so that first part is inapplicable; but it is our case that the court actually made an error of law which was so patent on the face of the record and that when this comes before a high court or human rights court, there will be no doubt that this whole trial would be quashed” he stated.

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