A Ghanaian young man’s revelation that he got jailed by a court of competent jurisdiction for stealing cooked rice together with the rice cooker has got many Ghanaians reacting.
Ghanaian man says cooked rice he ‘stole’ to quench hunger landed him in prison
The young man told his story to Crime Check Foundation in the presence of prison officers while in his blue prison attire.
According to him, he was hungry and went in for a certain woman’s cooked rice which was inside the rice cooker.
He said he put the ‘booty’ in a polythene rubber to carry away but he was spotted and the woman whom the rice belonged to caused his arrest.
“I was in the police cell for two weeks and the CID came and took me to court and the judge sentenced me,” the young man told Crime Check Foundation when asked what brought him to the prison.
“I didn’t steal the rice cooker but I took the rice in it. It was cooked rice that I stole to eat and that’s what landed me in prison. I pleaded with them for mercy and tried to let them understand that I was not a robber but they did not listen to me.
“I was hungry and took the rice cooker and the woman made the police arrest me,” he narrated to Crime Check Foundation’s Executive Director Ibrahim Oppong Kwarteng in a video that has been uploaded to social media.
Crime Check Foundation is a non-governmental organization that “supports prisoners who have become victims of questionable justice delivery”, especially “inmates from poor backgrounds without access to any form of legal support”.
The foundation has facilitated the release of many unjustly imprisoned Ghanaians over the years in collaboration with the courts and the Ghana Prison Service.
It sometimes pays court fines in default of which some people ended up in prison.
It would be recalled that last year, a Junior High School (JHS) graduate who was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for allegedly stealing GH¢10.00 eventually regained his freedom but said he was still traumatised.
According to him, an angry mob pounced on him and beat him to a pulp before taking him to the Zongo police station where he was remanded for nine days without the knowledge of his family.
He said all attempts to explain himself to the irate mob failed.
He was jailed for stealing rice cooker. pic.twitter.com/xQdARGPN9A
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Abdallah who is now 27 years old and served 11-years 2 months out of the 25-year prison sentence at the Kumasi Central prison said he suffered a mistaken identity.
“I was remanded for 9 days till I appeared before the court; was remanded and later jailed 25 years,” he told Corruption Watch (CW), a segment on Adom FM’s morning show Dwaso Nsem.
These and many more similar cases of bizarre jail terms meted out to poor Ghanaians who are unable to afford legal services while influential people who have stolen millions of Ghana Cedis are walking free have brought the judiciary under criticism.