The trial could perhaps be the fastest ever in Ghana for such an offense.
Parliament’s Defense and Interior Committee says security chiefs would be invited to answer questions about the major security breach which made it possible for an armed man to visit the president’s place of worship on three occasions without being noticed.
A member of the committee Fritz Baffuor, says Parliament will seek answers from security chiefs for the lapses in the president’s security.
“Any political personality is a targeted for any lunatic or disgruntled person and that’s why have bodyguards. Somewhere along the line somebody has been relaxed; because for the president to go and worship and for a particular character to be targeting him for four weeks then it’s a bit worrying” Fritz Baffuor said.
An Accra Circuit Court on Monday July 28, found 36-year-old Charles Antwi guilty of second-degree felony after he confessed he wanted to kill President Mahama.
The unemployed man was charged for unlawful possession of fire arm after he was arrested at Ringway Gospel Assemblies of God Church where president John Mahama and his family worship.
Lead prosecutor, Supt. Frank Baah told the court the suspect illegally possessed a cocked locally manufactured double barrel pistol with two rounds of ammunition which was found on him after he appeared fidgety at the church, praying the court for more time to investigate the matter.
The suspect however pleaded not guilty after his shocking confession that he went to the church with the aim of killing the president. The native of Brong Ahafo, also told the court he bought the pistol from a Burkinabe in Nkoranza.
He cited bad governance, unstable power supply, economic hardship as his reasons for harboring his plans, after which he surprisingly said he once made an attempt to seek audience with then President Mills before his death but this never happened.
Charles Antwi argued former president Rawlings killed, went to prison came back and became president so he could also do same. He said he was directed to the president’s church by a soldier after persistently visiting the castle demanding to to see him.
He told the court, he had been at the presidents church on four different occasions. Charles Antwi confessed, he saw the president on his first day but did not have the pistol, however in all three subsequent visits, he brought the pistol only to meet his absence.
After his submission, he was found guilty with the charge of a second degree felony.
Trial judge, Justice Francis in his judgment noted he was a first time offender who needed no mercy because his action was a premeditated one to kill the president and convicted him to a maximum jail term 10years.
Lawyers raise red flag
Meanwhile some lawyers are questioning the processes leading to the incarceration of the suspect based on his confession by the judge Francis Obiri. There are indications some human right lawyers may be filing an appeal against the ruling.
They have questioned the haste with which the judge incarcerated the man who appeared to be mentally unstable and was without a lawyer.
Constitutional Lawyer based in the US, Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare told Accra-based Joy FM the processes to his incarceration were flawed.
“The issue is not whether Charles Antwi was competent to stand trial but rather whether Judge Francis Obiri is competent to be a trial judge in such a complex case. No competent judge will sentence a man, not represented by a lawyer, to a 10-year prison term within 48 hours of his arrest, investigation, indictment, alleged confession, plea and, I suppose, “trial. The Judge’s handling of the case falls significantly short of the procedural due process requirements guaranteed by the Constitution. This will be reversed on appeal” he said in his Facebook post.
Professor Kwaku Asare later told Accra-based Joy FM the “trial is unheard of and despicable”.
Meanwhile the mother of the convict, Afia Agyapomaa has in a media interview revealed that his son has not been stable mentally in the last two years.
By: Ebenezer Afanyi Dadzie/3news.com/Ghana