President Akufo-Addo has granted a presidential amnesty to a total of Eight Hundred and Eight (808) prisoners in consultation with the council of state and upon recommendation from the Prisons Services Council.
A total of 783 first offenders who have served half of their sentences, 11 seriously ill prisoners and 3 aged prisoners are going home outright from today.
Out of the remaining 11 prisoners, 7 prisoners on death roll will have their sentences commuted to life imprisonment while the 4 other prisoners serving life imprisonment will have their sentences commuted to 20 years definite term.
In a statement signed by Director-General of the Ghana Prisons Service, Patrick Darko Missah, President Akufo-Addo granted the pardon acting on his privileges under article 72 (1) of the 1992 constitution which states in parts, “grant to a person convicted of an offence a pardon either free or subject to lawful conditions.”
“His Excellency the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo upon the recommendation of the Prisons service council and in consultation with the council of state has already in accordance with article 72 (1) of the constitution, granted amnesty to eight hundred and eight (808) convict prisoners
“The category of convicts affected are as below; First Offenders -783, Seriously ill – 11, Inmates on death roll to be commuted to life imprisonment – 7, Inmates serving life sentences to have sentences commuted to 20 years definite term – 4 and Very old prisoners 70 years and above -34
“The first offenders totalling 783 who have served half of their sentences, 11 seriously ill prisoners and 3 aged, very old prisoners are to be released outright. However, 7 prisoners on death roll will have their sentences commuted to life imprisonment while 4 prisoners serving life will have their sentences commuted to 20 years definite term,” the statement read in parts.
Speaking on Asempa FM on Thursday, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Prisons Service, Supt. Courage Atsem said the aim of the pardon was to decongest the prisons in a bid to fight the spread of COVID-19, however, the decision to free up the prisons was made before the outbreak of the Coronavirus infection.
“The aim was to decongest the prisons but let me say that before this COVID-19 came about, these processes were in place but you know between decision-taking and implementation takes time, if you don’t take care, you may release someone who may be a security threat to the country so that is why it delayed
“regional commanders have started implementing the decision already so people are going home and my information is that hopefully, we will see more of this going forward,” he noted.
Read the statement below: