Politically-Motivated Mad Man Jailed 10 Years

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…But More Questions Unanswered In President Mahama’s Assassination Plot

The gunman, who said he had wanted to assassinate President John Mahama in his church, was yesterday sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, leaving lots of questions unsettled.

Charles Antwi, was arrested last Sunday, for wielding a loaded and cocked pistol with two rounds of ammunition at the Ringway Gospel Centre branch of the Assemblies of God Church in Accra, where President Mahama worships with his family. Luckily, the first family was not in church.

The 36-year old Charles Antwi, openly told the court that, President Mahama, had stolen his presidential birthright as he was to become president after the death of President John Mills, because he was destined to lead Ghana as president.

He also mentioned electoral reforms with respect to the Electoral Commission (EC), mentioned the energy crisis popularly called, “Dumsor,” and incessant increment in fuel prices, as his reasons to kill President Mahama.

But the “speed of light” conviction, which has left some nagging questions, has stirred up some controversies which might linger on for many days, months or years to come, especially because the suspect, exhibited the highest degree of lunacy in his presentation before an Accra Circuit Court presided over by Justice Francis Obiri.

Firstly, many are of the view that, his sentencing came too soon, and that he should have been submitted to a group of psychiatrists for a medical examination to avoid a situation where criminal suspects fend madness or mental disorder to cover up a crime.

Secondly, examining him, could lead to tracing possible accomplices in plotting the assassination of President Mahama, and that his confession statement, could be a clever attempt to cover up his partners in crime.

Thirdly, the court could have also helped by getting him a lawyer through Legal Aid to help him know he had become a dangerous lunatic, who need to be confined under medical examination. The essence of this is to prevent him from harming anyone in the future, if he is released from jail.

For instance, as happened in the case of South African amputee runner, Oscar Pistorius, a judge can order a panel of mental health experts to examine a suspect before conviction.

Oscar Pistorius alias “the Blade Runner”, before he was sentenced in the Valentine Day murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, a panel of Sourth African mental health experts concluded, after a 30-day psychiatric evaluation, that Pistorius was not suffering from a “mental disorder or defect” , and was not incapable of telling right from wrong, or of acting on that understanding of right and wrong.

Charles Antwi, was charged with unlawful possession of firearm. He pleaded guilty to the charge read against him in court yesterday.

Charles Antwi, had told the court that, becoming president was his birthright, hence his resolve “to kill President Mahama.”

He said, he was destined to “be sworn in as president when president John Evans Atta Mills died.”

He further insisted that “trying to kill the president was a way of fighting for the nation” explaining that the “nation’s current electoral system is not helping to improve its democracy.”

He is said to have told the court that he procured the locally-manufactured gun from Nkoranza in the Brong Ahafo Region. The gun was not registered.

According to Charles Antwi, he wanted to save Ghana from the bad governance of the Mahama-led administration, and so had visited the Castle in search of President Mahama to kill him.

He said he went to the Ringway Gospel Centre branch of the Assemblies of God Church many times, until he was arrested, last Sunday.

He claimed to have travelled to Libya and France, before. He admitted to drinking alcohol, but not on drugs. He is not married, and has no child.

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