A man was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison custody for attempted assassination of the president. According to the story, the man (who was showing signs of mental illness) was found in a church where the president regularly congregates. The president was not in church that particular day but the man was alleged to have entered the church with a weapon concealed in his pants (underwear) and comfortably sat as a congregant.
During the sermon he was reportedly acting suspicious so the presidential guards arrested him and he was subsequently arraigned and sentenced within 48 hours. Now the question is what kind of assassin will attend church, with the intention of killing the president, have his (undisclosed) weapon concealed in his pants and continue behaving suspiciously. The inability of the police to disclose the weapon he was carrying made many people conclude that they are making a big case out of slight evidence or none.
As a result of pressure from civil society and the general public, a recent medical test was conducted and it confirmed that the man indeed was clinically insane and so many people hope that he will be released and placed on medication. But we are told there will be a retrial. We don’t want Ghana to be the first to prosecute lunatics. The law on the legal process is very clear – that for an accused to be arraigned before court, proven guilty and sentenced, he must be of a sound mind. Here is a man who is not of a sound mind yet is being prosecuted. Ghana is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948 in Paris, which includes the rights of the mentally-handicapped.