A statement from the Flagstaff House says President John Mahama has granted amnesty to 896 prisoners. This he did, in commemoration of the 56th Republican Anniversary of the Republic of Ghana. The statement read:
“President John Dramani Mahama has, in commemoration of the 56th Republican Anniversary of the Republic of Ghana, granted amnesty to a total of eight hundred and ninety-six (896) prisoners.”
The freed 896 prisoners fall into the following categories:
- First Offenders – 813
- Seriously ill – 16
- Aged 70 years and above – 63
- Special Case (Double Amputee) – 1
- Death row commuted to Life Imprisonment – 3
900 prisoners freed in 2015
We would still recall vividly, that in 2015 President Mahama freed 900 prisoners, still in remembrance of the Republic Day celebrated every 1st of July. Of the 900 prisoners freed last year, was a 92-year-old man.
Chairman of the Prisons Council, Pastor Stephen Wengam had said then, that the move brings a sigh of relief to the prison service, in their quest to decongest the prisons adding that, “900 is a big number and it will go a long way in helping us to categorize and classify the rest of the prisoners per the UN standard.”
The President had asked the prisoners to conduct themselves well as they return to society and avoid breaching the law again. He also urged Ghanaians and families of beneficiaries to whole heartedly reintegrate the pardoned prisoners into society so as not to cause them any further frustration or misery.
Mahama’s move is in accordance with article 72(1) of the 1992 constitution which says the President may in consultation with the Council of State grant a person convicted of an offence a pardon, either free or subject to lawful conditions.