GHANA – A Ghanaian man who was arrested when he was 15 years old has been released after serving 11 years of his 25-year sentence for stealing 10 cedi (about R28.20).
In a statement on Friday, the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) said they told Abdallah Mohammed’s story through their Corruption Watch programme in 2019 and a law firm, JustKing and Associates, decided to offer a pro bono service to get him justice.
In detailing how Mohammed’s ordeal began, CDD-Ghana said he was walking home with his girlfriend when they came across a mob.
“The group accused him of stealing from them and beat him up mercilessly. His ¢16.00 (about US$2.74) he had on him at the time of his arrest was taken and he was later handed over to the Kumasi Zongo police over an accusation of stealing ¢10.00,” read the statement.
Mohammed spent five days in a holding cell and during interrogation he was forced to confess and name his accomplice.
“After spending 21 days in the holding cells, he was taken to court and subsequently sentenced to 25 years in prison,” read the statement.
CDD-Ghana said Mohammed wrote to them for help to appeal his sentence.
“After we got his story and aired it on Corruption Watch, many human rights institutions and some individuals became concerned with his case and wanted to see him freed.
“Even if he had stolen the money, the punishment didn’t fit the crime. It was too harsh,” read the statement.
After serving 11 years and two months, Mohammed was released on September 22.
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