Crime & Punishment Tue, 31 Jul 2018
The Tamale High Court in the Northern region has convicted two students to death for killing a pastor in a robbery attack 10 months ago.The sentence is expected to suffer increased backlash from international human rights group, Amnesty International.
The regional state attorney Mr. Quddus Salia who led prosecution said the convicts; Dogyi Kwame and Obio Akwasi, are cousins, both aged 21 and students of Tamale Technical University.
They were arrested in November 2017 after they attacked and killed 65-year-old Ebenezer Ocran, head pastor of End Time Bible Believers Fellowship, Tamale, at his residence in Kumbuyili, an isolated community on the Tamale-Kumbungu road.
According to him, on 10th November 2017, the convicts forced themselves into the room of the deceased at about 12noon and killed him by stabbing him in the chest with a knife and also fractured his skull with a pestle. They stole a Toyota Highlander vehicle belonging to the deceased after the act and fled.
Dogyi Kwame, he added, then took the vehicle to Tamale Industrial Area and handed same to a sprayer requesting that he could sell it as low as 10,000 Ghana cedis.
The sprayer became suspicious and alerted the Police who went for the vehicle and later arrested Dogyi Kwame. At the Police station, Dogyi Kwame identified Obio Akwasi to Police as his accomplice when the latter went to the Police Station to visit the former.
Both convicts admitted killing the deceased in their police statements and were subsequently charged with Conspiracy and Murder.
They were committed to stand trial at the High Court in April 11, six months after their arrest, by a district court in the regional capital. The District court judge before committing the two for trial at the High Court blasted them as “disgrace to their parents, school and don’t deserve to live”, because of their “mindset”.
The prosecutor said the case travelled just two months, adding that nine witnesses testified in court against the convicts who could not provide even a single witness to stand for them in the trial.
Qudus said though they admitted the offence in their police statements, they pleaded not guilty at the trial.
However, the presiding judge Mr. Justice Edward Apenkwah accordingly sentenced them to death by hanging after a jury found the two students guilty of the charges and returned verdict of guilty on both counts.
One of the convicts, Dogyi Kwame lived in the same house with the murdered pastor and believed to have masterminded the robbery attack.
The prosecutor disclosed that at the time the pastor was killed, he was writing a sermon to deliver to his congregation that evening with the theme “SHOW ME THE DEVINE LOVE IN YOU”.
The prosecution tendered the written sermon in court, the prosecutor added.
The court on July 12, 2018 condemned a 35-year-old man to hanging after he was found guilty of stabbing to death his wife’s little sister in a violent rape struggle five years ago in Bole Bamboi district.
The state attorney had told Starr News after securing that conviction, that more than five suspects are languishing in death row awaiting their death.
The Amnesty international denounced the sentence as “crude and unfortunate” and called on Ghanaian authorities to “put an end to hanging down death sentence to Ghanaians”.