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Teacher freed after 15-year wrong incarceration

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Mr. Eric Asante a Teacher who was acquitted and discharged by the Supreme Court after serving a 15 year jail term for defilement says he felt so good after several years incaceration subsequent exoneration.

Mr Asante said: “I have been exonerated. I am happy that justice has been served finally.” 

On the quantum of compensation which to him will commensurate with the 15 years he had served in jail, Mr Asante said: “I will discuss with my lawyers, but one million Ghana cedis would not be bad,’   

However his lawyer Francis X. Sosu said “what is one million, we will go for about ten million Ghana cedis”.

Mr Asante appealed to the Attorney General (AG) to open fresh investigations into the matter to unearth the true culprit in order for that culprit to face the law.

He said from the judgment it could be that the culprit is within the society and committing the similar offences and implicating innocent individuals for whatever reasons.

He advised teachers to exercise caution in dealing and managing pupils and students as criminal elements may take advantage to link them to crime.    

The Supreme Court on Thursday acquitted and discharged Mr Asante after a 15 years jail term handed down to him by a Tamale High Court for defiling a 14 year old junior student.   

The five member panel in a unanimous decision ruled that his conviction could not be supported by evidence noting that there were doubts created in the evidence of the victim.

According to the court a DNA test conducted showed that Mr. Asante was also not the biological father of the victim’s son.

The court noted that the victim was not truthful when she testified before the lower court although medical report on her 23 weeks pregnancy was not in doubt.

On an order of compensation, the court urged Mr. Asante to apply formally.

Mr. Asante was on September 5, 2005 sentenced to 15 years imprisonment with hard labour by the Tamale High Court, after being found guilty of defiling one Rubamatu Mohammed a student of Nyorhini Presby Junior High School, which led to pregnancy and subsequent birth.

He however appealed against his conviction and sentence at the Court of Appeal in October 6, 2006 but his appeal was dismissed.

The Teacher proceeded to the Supreme Court in 2012 and the court granted him leave to file a notice of appeal against his conviction.

The notice of appeal was followed by an application for an order for the conduct of a DNA test on the child of Rubamatu.

The Supreme Court accepted the application and accordingly ordered Rubamatu to make her child available for the DNA

The report from the Forensic Laboratory of the Police Hospital indicated that the result of the test excluded Mr. Asante of having any biological relations with the 10-year-old boy who was alleged to be the outcome of the defilement.

Rubamatu who was said to be 23 weeks pregnant, mentioned Asante as the one who had had sex with her on several occasions.

This assertion of the victim was however denied by Mr. Asante who said he had nothing to do with the victim.

The Supreme Court was composed of Mr Justice Anin Yeboah, presiding, Justice Sule Gbadegbe, Justice Paul Baffoe Bonney, Justice Yaw Appau and Gabriel Pwamang.

Source: GNA

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