Kasoa police "killer" sentenced to 20 years in prison

Eric Kojo Duah, a 37-year-old man, has been sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment in hard labour by a High Court in Accra. 

He was found guilty of shooting and killing two uniformed police officers on duty at Buduburam near Kasoa in 2019. Following a decision made by the accused, he chose to plead guilty to two counts of manslaughter. This decision came after his lawyer successfully negotiated a plea bargain with the Office of the Attorney General. 

The defendant had entered a plea of not guilty to two charges of murder, and the prosecution had commenced its case by calling its initial witness. However, due to the transfer of the presiding judge, the proceedings were set to resume with the selection of a new jury. 

However wever, on October 31, 2023, Augustine's Obour, the lawyer, respectfully informed the court that his client was prepared to plead guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter, as previously discussed with the prosecution. He also maintained his client's plea of not guilty to the charge of murder. 

The court, under the guidance of Justice Marie-Louise Simmons, inquired if the individual comprehended the implications of the ruling and if their legal counsel had provided an explanation. The individual respectfully responded, "Yes, my lady." 

The court then reconsidered his plea, and he admitted guilt to two counts of manslaughter and denied guilt to two counts of murder. 

The court, therefore, found him guilty based on his own plea. During the plea for mitigation, his counsel, Mr. Obuor, respectfully requested a shorter sentence, emphasizing the opportunity for him to return to the community and continue his positive contributions. 

The individual mentioned that the individual in question had no prior criminal record and had been a law-abiding member of society before the incident. Additionally, they stated that the individual had gained valuable insights from their experience. 

Nana Ama Prempeh, a Senior State Attorney from the Office of the Attorney General, expressed gratitude that the convict had acknowledged responsibility for the tragic deaths of two police officers who were carrying out their duties. 

She mentioned that the offense is quite serious and should be met with a punishment that serves as a deterrent to others who may have similar intentions. 

Additionally, she requested the court to ensure that the sentence takes effect from the day of the sentence, regardless of the amount of time the convict has already spent in custody. 

During the duration of the case, Justice Simmons noted that the convict did not display any form of remorse in the courtroom. 

She mentioned that, in her opinion, the nature of the offense was such that it could lead to a lack of respect for authority. It is truly unfortunate that an individual would commit such a heinous act, taking the lives of two police officers in a senseless act of violence. This poses a significant risk to the safety and security of the public. 

The judge concluded that based on the evidence, the convict had indeed committed a road traffic offense that the police were pursuing him for. The act of shooting both officers on the street, in the presence of onlookers, was deemed to be extremely dangerous. 

She mentioned that she felt it was important to consider the public interest, which she did. After taking all factors into account, including the sentencing guidelines, she decided to sentence Eric Kojo Duah to 20 years' imprisonment for two counts of manslaughter, to be served concurrently. 

Justice Simmons expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of interest shown by the Ghana Police Service since taking over the matter. 


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