A 61-year-old ‘drunk pastor’, Mr. Kwaku Amofa has been jailed for sixteen months at the Kumasi Central Prison for insulting the head of his family. Speaking to crimecheckghana, the pastor admitted insulting his family head, but claimed, he thought it was a trivial issue that would not have ended him in prison.
Mr. Amofa, who was charged by a Kumasi Circuit court for causing harm, acknowledged that he had taken alcohol at the time the incident occurred. He was however quick to add that, “he was sober, so he was not under the influence of the drink to cause any harm as the court charged and sentenced him.”
He said his family head had given him fake documents to a land he had bought from him. This, he stated, infuriated him to launch insults on him.“ I had wanted to go out to pray, but the main gate of the house was locked. I did not understand that, so I only asked, “which foolish person locked the gate. That’s all.”
“That day, a party was held in the area, so I decided to go there to listen to music. It is true that I had taken some alcohol, but I wasn’t drunk”, he continued.
He said, as the incident unfolded, three men accosted him and sent him to the police station. He further claimed that, on their way, they said they “would raise false allegations against him, so he would land in prison.” According to him, the worst thing was that he was not given the opportunity in court to explain his side of the story, but the judge gave his verdict.
“When one of them said they will raise false allegations against me, I was not disturbed because I thought it was going to be back-and forth-conversation. However, it did not happen the way I had expected it”, he said.
Crime Check Foundation (CCF) with support from one of its donors, Mr. and Mrs. Koomson went to his aid and paid his fine for his release. Mr. Amofa thanked the couple for their intervention.
The Justice Sector Support Activity
With the passage of the Non-Custodial Sentencing Bill into law, Mr. Amofa would have been made to do communal work rather than serving a jail term and adding on to the congestion in the prison. It is for many such poor individuals, that the USAID Justice Sector Support Activity (JSSA) is being implemented to improve justice delivery in the country. The JSSA is an intervention that seeks to reinforce efforts by the US Government to enhance Ghana’s justice delivery system by increasing Citizen Oversight and Monitoring of Criminal Cases, increasing citizen knowledge and access to Justice Sector services, and strengthening advocacy for accountability of key justice sector institutions for improved justice delivery in Ghana.