by Emmanuel Akli
He was jailed on January 20th, 2011 by an Accra Circuit Court, presided over by Mrs. Mensa- Datsa, after being found guilty of defilement and incest of his ten year old daughter, contrary to sections 101 and 105 of the Criminal Offences Act 1960.
His lawyers disagreed with the conclusions drawn by the trial judge, and subsequently filed an appeal at the High Court, praying it to overturn the ruling of the Circuit Court. On March 30 this year, the High Court, presided over by Justice Dzakpasu, upheld the submissions of the defence counsel, and acquitted and discharged the defendant, who was serving a ten year jail term at the Nsawam Medium Security Prisons.
This is how Prophet Nana Kofi Yirenkyi, popularly known as 'Jesus Onetouch', tasted prison life before regaining his freedom, but before he could settle to enjoy new life outside the walls of Nsawam Prisons, the Human Rights Advocacy Centre (HRAC), a non-profit, independent, non- partisan research and advocacy organisation, has raised the red flag over the acquittal and discharge of the prophet.
The HRAC, headed by a human rights activist, Nana Oye Lithur, has written a protest letter to the Attorney General (A-G) and Minister of Justice, Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor. The letter, which would be delivered to the government Chief Legal Advisor this morning, is asking the latter to proceed to the Court of Appeal to have the verdict of the High Court, which set the popular prophet free, overturned.
The human rights organisation is also asking Dr. Kunbuor to institute a probe into the whole matter, if need be. Below is the letter that has been written to the A-G.
REQUEST FOR AN APPEAL TO BE FILED AT THE COURT OF APPEAL IN RESPECT OF THE REPUBLIC VRS NANA KOFI YIRENKYI ALIAS 'JESUS ONE TOUCH' BCRA 76/2011
The Human Rights Advocacy Centre (HRAC) is a non- profit, independent, non- partisan research and advocacy organization set up to advance and protect human rights in Ghana.
On 20th January 2011, the Circuit Court, presided over by Justice Mrs Mensa – Datsa , found the accused guilty of defilement and incest of his ten year old daughter, contrary to sections 101 and 105 of the Criminal Offences Act 1960 ('the Code') respectively. The Appellant was sentenced to two 10 year sentences to be served concurrently.
The convict filed an appeal on 2nd February, 2011 at the High Court, Accra. On the 30th March 2012, the Court of Appeal upheld the appeal and acquitted and discharged the convict Mr. Nana Kofi Yirenkyi on both counts of defilement and incest. Justice Dzapaksu found that the evidence provided by the prosecution did not prove the elements of the offence of defilement and incest beyond reasonable doubt.
The state prosecutor assigned to the case from the Attorney General's Department was not in court on 30th March, 2012, when judgment was delivered by His Lordship, Justice Dzakpasu.The HRAC contends that there is sufficient evidence to establish Nana Kofi Yirenkyi's guilt, and that the decision of the trial judge Mensah-Datsa J. at the Circuit Court should have been affirmed.
Please find attached a copy of the amicus curiae which details the reasons for this position.
The HRAC is respectfully writing to request that you file an appeal against the decision of the High Court, and conduct further investigations into this matter if need be.
Thank you for your prompt cooperation.
Nana Oye Lithur