I don't support the killing of Kombian - Kwasi Jonah
Accra, Aug. 20, GNA - Mr Kwasi Jonah, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) on Thursday said the state should offer Johnson Kombian, farmer and businessman sentenced to death for killing two police officers, an opportunity to reform and amend his ways.
'Kombian should have been given a life sentence to afford him the opportunity to change from his bad ways', Mr Jonah told the Ghana News Agency in an interview after addressing participants on 'Ghana's Proposed Amendment: How Developmental Are They?'
'As a Catholic, I believe it is God who gives life and it is only God who can take life,' he said.
Mr Jonah, who is also a Political Science Lecturer, explained that, he does not support the death penalty as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution that was why he was very happy with the Constitutional Review Committee report, which called for the replacement of the death penalty with life imprisonment among other issues.
The Economy of Ghana Network, in collaboration with the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana, held the workshop to discuss whether the proposed amendments will move the nation from a political to a developmental Constitution.
In a related development, Mr George Asamaney, lawyer for Kombian, also told the Ghana News Agency in an interview of his intention to appeal against the death sentence verdict of the seven member jury.
He claimed that Kombian thinks that he did not get the justice he deserved hence 'he is aggrieved had instructed me to launch an appeal against his conviction and sentence'.
According to Counsel 'the verdict was against the weight of evidence because public opinion was against him'.
He said: 'Kombian thinks the conviction and sentence was too harsh, excessive and out of date'.
According to the Counsel, he would apply for proceedings and as soon as he secures it, he would file the appeal.
Mr Asamaney said his client felt that the state did not prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.
He said Kombian was of the view that the motive for which he killed the Police was paramount adding; 'There was no motive for committing the crime and he had nothing against the Police officers.'
Mr Asamaney said no proper investigations were done to unearth the real culprits and wondered that since his arrest, none of the so called accomplices have been arrested.
'No efforts have been made by the Police to arrest other accomplices who are alleged to have committed the crime,' he said.
Counsel recounted that Kombian had been described in the media as a 'notorious armed robber' hence getting witnesses to testify for him was difficult.
As part of the grounds of Appeal, Counsel said there were so many inconsistencies in the case of the prosecution and that the jury was misdirected.
Johnson Kombian was on Wednesday sentenced to death by hanging by an Accra Fast Track High Court for killing two police officers in the Northern Region.
The deceased are Constable Prince Agyare and Constable Owusu Frimpong. A third policeman, Corporal Osei Bonsu, survived after sustaining gunshot wounds
Kombian was also sentenced to 30 years imprisonment on the charge of conspiracy to commit crime the sentences were to run concurrently.
This was after a seven- member jury unanimously returned a verdict of guilty on two counts of murder and conspiracy to commit crime.
Kombian, alias Garkum, and his accomplices, who are currently on the run, are alleged to have ambushed three policemen on October 17, 2010 and succeeded in killing two of them.
Kombian also allegedly conspired with his friend, Kofi Naaman, known as Accra Boy, to rob Djato Mathias and then attempted to kill him.
He was, therefore, arrested, tried and sentenced to seven years' imprisonment by the Tamale Circuit Court but he escaped whiles serving his jail term.
Kombian sought refuge at Nakpanduri in the Bunkpurugu Yunyoo District of the Northern Region, which happened to be his hometown.
On October 17, 2010, the accused person and his accomplices received information that a number of policemen had been detailed to perform duties at the Nakpanduri Scarp.
Kombian and his accomplices, however, ambushed and attacked the three policemen. They allegedly fired gunshots at the deceased policemen, who were then on a motorbike. The policemen fell into a 10-metre long valley.
The accused person and his group continued to fire sporadically into the valley, with the hope of killing the policemen, who also retaliated with occasional gun fires.
After some minutes of firing, Kombian and his gang stopped, and on realising that the gunshots had ended, Agyare and his colleagues mistakenly thought their attackers had left. They, therefore, came out of their hideout and were subjected to more gun fire.
Help finally came for Agyare and his colleagues whiles Kombian and his accomplices bolted. The wounded policemen were conveyed to the Nalerigu Hospital but Agyare was later pronounced dead.
Frimpong also died later, while Bonsu was transferred to the Police Hospital in Accra where he was treated and discharged.
Kombian escaped to Togo after the incident but he was later picked up by the Togolese authorities and handed over to the Ghanaian authorities.