JFAP: 73-year-old on remand for murder granted bail

He is accused of allegedly beating his grandson to death and had been on remand for three years.

Is allowance instantly strangers applauded

A 73-year-old man, John Oko Mensah, accused of murdering his grandson, has been granted a GHC 100, 000 bail by the special court under the Justice For All Programme (JFAP).

He is accused of allegedly beating his grandson to death and had been on remand for three years. 

His lawyer, David Owusu Tachie, put up a defence in his application for bail, arguing that the accused did not cause the death of his grandson, but rather it was an accident. 

He told the court the daughter of the accused who was epileptic had carried the child at her back and when she had a seizure, the child fell into fire. He added that when granted bail, they would be ready to prove it at the trial. 

Assistant State Attorney, Yvonne Dacosta, initially opposed the application on the basis of the nature of the charges. She however stated that should the accused be garnted bail, he must submit himself anytime he is called upon. 

Granting him bail, the court presided over by Supreme Court Justice, Justice Honyenuga added that the accused must report to the police station every Monday. 

John Oko Mensah’s case was among 60 cases from the Nsawam Medium Security Prison that were heard virtually last Friday under the Justice For All Programme (JFAP).

Out of the 60 cases that were heard, three accused persons were discharged unconditionally, 27 were granted bail and 23 refused bail. Six of the applications for bail were struck out, while one suspect was referred for psychiatric evaluation.

The JFAP is a State-led intervention, established in 2007 to alleviate prison overcrowding by setting up Mobile In-prison Special Courts to adjudicate remand/Pre-trial prisoner cases throughout the country. 

The initiative enjoys the collective efforts of the Judicial Service of Ghana, the Office of the Attorney-General, the Ghana Prisons and Police Service, CHRAJ, as well as POS Foundation (a civil society body that serves as facilitators).

According to 2019 statistics, the programme has helped reduce the remand population from 4,285 (33%)out of a total prison population of 13,133 in 2007 to 2,020 representing 13.4 % of the current prison population of about 15,071.

Recently, POS Foundation, facilitators of the programme, was honored at the World Justice Forum held in the Hague, Netherlands. The organisation was among four others that were shortlisted and awarded out of the total of 30 finalists.