Information reaching The Chronicle indicates that authorities at the Nsawam Medium Prisons have allegedly offered for sale Presidential amnesty granted to a thousand and twenty seven (1,027) prisoners on humanitarian grounds to convicts.
Sources at the country’s only medium security prison alleged that monies are changing hands between some prison authorities and some well-known three convicts, who are serving various terms for drug related offences, to enable them benefit from the Presidential pardon.
Deep throat sources within the prisons told this reporter that due to the allegations of ‘amnesty for sale’ making the rounds among prison inmates, some aggrieved prisoners serving various jail sentences on narcotic related cases have threatened to vehemently oppose the move, should the authorities try to execute them.
The source told The Chronicle that the issue of money changing hands at the Nsawam Prisons for change of prisoners’ status between the prison authorities and the prisoners has been a concern over the past decade.
“During the NPP regime, money changed hands and some convicts bought their freedom by benefiting from the presidential pardon whenever it came up,” the source alleged. The Chronicle learnt that the convicts (names withheld) in question, some of who are blood relations to some powerful politicians in the country were listed as sick convicts whose continuous stay at the prison will be very detrimental to their health conditions.
On September 21, 2009, during the commemoration of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s centenary birthday, President Atta Mills, in consultation with the Ghana Prisons Service Council granted amnesty to a thousand and twenty seven prisoners nationwide, on humanity grounds.
It was during the implementation of this that the three prisoners wanted to buy their freedom from the hands of the Nsawam Prison authorities. The Chronicle also learnt that though some of the prison officers opposed the idea of their names being included on the list of beneficiaries, it was ignored.
When the Ghana Prisons Service was contacted, an official denied that monies change hands at the Nsawam Prisons, but admitted to receiving the names of the three convicts to benefit from the amnesty. “This is very strange.” We don’t know anything of that sort. In fact, we are not aware of any money changing hands at the Nsawam Prisons,” noted Ben Quaye, Director of Prisons Service in charge of Operations.
He however admitted that three convicts whose names are being withheld, were presented as very sick people whose continues stay at the Prisons will be very detrimental to their health by the authorities at the Nsawam Prisons.
According to him, due to the nature of their case, a directive from the Prisons Command was communicated to the authorities at Nsawam to delete their names from the list.
“Amnesty is not for everybody. Because of the nature their cases, we dropped them,” he noted. He told this reporter that one of the convicts has been put before a medical board for examination to ascertain the truth of his health condition and “until a medical report comes out, he is going to serve his jail sentence”.
Source: The Chronicle/Ghana
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