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03.09.2004 General News

Coup At Nsawam Prisons

By The Heritage
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After several weeks of investigations, The Heritage can confirm that the Officer-In-Charge of the Nsawam Medium Security Prisons DDP Nartey and two of his subordinates, Chief Officer Mofetu-Ny and Supt. Ayitey are, against the dictates of their profession, engaged in a vicious campaign against the Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.

The campaign, which is moving from department to department, is designed to impose on relatives of prisoners carefully churned out propaganda intended to push anxious relatives to vote against the NPP government during the 2004 elections. The propaganda doing the rounds is that unless relatives who visited the prisons show solidarity with that erstwhile NDC and vote for a change of government, their loved ones in prison would never benefit from any genuine amnesty, because “the NPP government is noted for abusing prisoners' rights.”

Investigations at the Medium Security Prison has picked reports that some of the prisoners are being maltreated to compel them to convince their relatives that, with the NPP in power, they (prisoners) will remain forgotten, abused and ultimately condemned to die in prison. It was also hinted that certain prisoners have been denied discharge by the prison authorities on the orders of these officers in charge of that propaganda machine, even though their date for discharge was due.

It was further gathered that some life sentence prisoners, whose sentences have been commuted to 20 years imprisonment by the President's July 2003 amnesty, on earning the conventional remission of one-third less the actual sentence from the date of sentence by the trial judge, are still in prison, regardless of Prison Standing Orders Page 44: Article 450&451 and Prisons Regulations Part 4:64&65 which deals with computation of sentence for prisoners.

Sources said these prisoners are due for discharge after serving 13 years 4months according to the above section quoted, but the officers in Nsawam and some patently anti-NPP prison directors at the headquarters, have denied such prisoners their release, and gone even further by doubling the terms of their sentences.