A 42-year-old ex-convict, Emmanuel Twum has narrated how he was jailed for a year for smashing his sister’s ‘yam’ phone.
In the absence of an alternative sentencing regime such as non-Custodial Sentencing, many petty offenders like Twum add to the congestion in prisons in the country.
According to Twum, an acclaimed womanizer, he damaged his younger sister’s ‘yam’ phone over the sale of a family cocoa farm, which was left, in his care.
He said his sister played a role that led to the sale of the farm without his consent.
Recounting to crimecheckghana.org how it all happened, Twum said he had left Accra for his village, Assin Bereku in the Ashanti Region where there are a number of cocoa farms belonging to his late parents.
He said an aunty who had also visited the town, handed to his care two of the cocoa farms but asked him to sell a particular farm. The ex-driver said his sister was the only relative present when the farms were being handed to him.
Twum, who confessed to having led an irresponsible life in the city, said he told his aunty he would not sell the farm but add it to his responsibility and take care of it.
He said his sister who was not enthused about his decision clandestinely disclosed the information to an elderly sister to connive and sell the farm.
“The elderly sister told his husband and they sold the farm at my blindsight,” he said.
Twum said when he heard about it he confronted his younger sister because he believed she blew the lid off about selling the farm and his refusal. “During the confrontation, she gave me her phone to speak to the elderly sister who confirmed my allegation. After speaking to her, I hit the ‘yam’ phone on the ground,” he said.
Twum said his sister reported the incident to the police and he was arrested.
Pushed further on what may have influenced him, he indicated that “I took alcohol, and anytime the anger wanted to die down, I go to a local drinking spot and topped up with more of the local gin.”
He added that he did not live any meaningful life in Accra as he spent all his savings on women and parties.
“I could organize events in my area all in the bid to attract women. Sometimes I regret and wish to stop but the women would come themselves for me to take them out,” he confessed.
The yet-to-be-married man claimed he has slept with about fifty women. “I went to the village without any savings so I followed my brother-in-law to the bush to help with his lumberjack job. But when I learned he was the one who sold the farm, I got very angry with him because he had stabbed me in the back,” he indicated.
Twum said he pleaded guilty when he was arraigned before court for smashing the phone but asked the presiding judge for clemency because he acted under the influence of alcohol.
He said he was fined Two Thousand Three Hundred Ghana cedis which he was unable to pay. The judge, he said sentenced him to one-year imprisonment in default of the fine.
A UK-based donor, Enoch Effah supported the Crime Check Foundation (CCF)’s Petty Offenders project to pay for his fine to get him out of prison.
Remorseful Twum promised he would live a life worthy of emulation because he has turned a new leaf.
The Petty Offenders project
With support from donors, CCF has paid the fines of hundreds of Petty Offenders for their release. The project has contributed to the decongestion of the prisons.