A 28 year old farmer who has been on remand for eight years without trial at the Ankaful Maximum Security Prison Annex in the Central Region over a rape charge has been freed under the Justice for All Programme.

This was after POS Foundation a Human Rights nongovernmental organisation had filed an application for bail on his behalf.

POS since 2014 has been give the franchise by the Judicial Service to coordinate the Justice for All Programme (JFA) by providing legal aid to remand inmates.

During the sitting at the Ankaful prison, Alex Dagarti told the court that since his arrest on December 28, 2010, the complainant in the matter had never showed up in court.

Narrating his case before the court presided over by Mr Justice Clemence K. Honyenugah, a Court of Appeal Judge, sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court Judge; Dagarti said he travelled down to the Central region in search of a job as a farmer.

He said he secured a job on a poultry farm where he spent about three days. However on his return to his residence, a middle aged woman who was his neighbour alleged that he had raped her.
Dagarti denied the offence of rape.

“Nobody has come to look for me whiles in custody. None of my relations know where I am.

The trial judge ruled that if Dagarti was tried and found guilty of the offence of rape, he would have finished serving.

According to the judge, the accused person was not looking healthy and he has been in custody for eight years without trial.

“Accused is hereby discharged and he is to leave the prison forth with,” the judge declared.

Dagarti who went into the prison yard to pack all his belongings was offered GH 100 cedis by POS foundation to travel to the Northern Region.

Meanwhile, the same court has also discharged two head porters who were nabbed and remanded for possessing 51 wrappers of cannabis Sativa.

The two, David Tongo and Richard Mensah had been admitted to bail in the sum of GH 760 cedis by a court but the accused persons could not get anyone to stand as surety for them.

Tongo and Mensah, both head porters admitted that they had gone to a ghetto to buy one roll of cannabis Sativa each before engaging in the day’s business.

The accused persons said they were however arrested by the Police as soon as they arrived at the scene.

Although the Police claimed they found 51 wrappers of dried leaves suspected to be cannabis, it did not belong to them.

“The owners of the drugs at the ghetto absconded when the Police came to arrest us,” the accused persons said.

The Court noted that accused persons had been on remand for six months and stated further that from their explanation, they should have been charged with use of narcotic drugs.

Soon after the charge of use of narcotic were read out to them, Tongo and Mensah, pleaded guilty.

Ms Mavis Andoh, a lawyer with POS Foundation pleaded for mitigation and the court asked the accused person to sign a bound each for 36 months in default serve three years.

The Justice for All Programme has been set by the Judicial Service of Ghana, Office of the Attorney General, the Ghana Prisons and the Ghana Police Service to decongest the countries prisons.


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