Court Orders Prisons to Free Overstayed In-Mate

A convicted armed robber, who was sentenced to a jail term of ten years at the Nsawam Prison, but has remained in jail even after completing his sentence, is said to have successfully pleaded Habeas Corpus.

Persons close to Godwin Sampana have indicated that his argument that his sentence ran out in January 2021 has been accepted and is currently going through paperwork to secure his freedom after he filed a Habeas Corpus writ which compels a hearing for the release of a convicted criminal.

Sampana’s application was granted and the court has since ordered his immediate release from prison. But we have to go through the necessary formalities as usual,” a Lawyer close to him told Whatsup News.

Lawyers for the convict are said to have filed an ex parte motion against the Director-General of Prisons and the Attorney General at the Supreme Court on the 19th of August, 2021.

Court was moved on the 27th of August, 2021.

In an affidavit deposed by Christian Kokroko, a law clerk at the law firm, Pantsil, Paintsil & Co, solicitors for the applicant it was stated that Sampana had duly served a ten-year sentence in hard labour for robbery that he had been convicted for in 2014.

Per the country’s imprisonment rules, his sentence was supposed to be remitted by a third meaning he completed the ten-year sentence in January 2021. However, he had been kept on in prison after his sentence ended, forcing his Solicitors to file for Habeas Corpus (release of the body) at the Supreme Court.

Godwin Sampana was arraigned before the Circuit Court in Accra on 28th May 2014 on two counts of conspiracy to commit robbery contrary to section 23 (1) and 149 of the Criminal Offences Act 1960 (Act 29) as amended by Criminal Code (Amendment) Act 2003 (Act 646) and robbery, contrary to section 149 of the Criminal Offences ACT 1960 (Act 29) as amended by the Criminal Code (Amendment) Act 2003 (Act 646)

On 23rd June 2014, the court convicted and sentenced him to ten years imprisonment with hard labour on the count of conspiracy to commit robbery and two years on the count of robbery. However, the sentences were to run concurrently.

The convict later appealed for mitigation of sentence at the High Court sitting at the Nsawam Medium Security Prisons) presided by Her Ladyship Justice Laurenda Osei and the sentence was dismissed on the 12th of June, 2020.

However, in dismissing the appeal, the High Court had taken the view that the sentences of 10 years was the minimum punitive measure that the law allows for the crimes. The court, therefore, affirmed the conviction of ten years on the first count, which is the conspiracy to commit robbery and extended the sentence of the second count, robbery, to 10 years.

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