Head of Prosecutions for the Ashanti Regional Police says a fine of GHC1200 slapped on Maxwell Kofi Jumah is deterrent enough despite public criticism that the fine was not punitive enough.
A Kumasi Circuit Court Monday found former Asokwa MP and Mayor of Kumasi guilty of causing unlawful damage to an electoral material.
Mr Jumah was arrested June 2015 for destroying one of the albums being used for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary primary for Asokwa at the Ahinsan Youth Centre in Kumasi.
His aide Riches Oscar popularly known as ‘Ghana Ebeye yie’ was also arrested for preventing the police from arresting his boss, Mr Jumah.
After a year of trial, they were both convicted on charges of causing unlawful damage, contrary to section 226(1) of the Criminal Offences Act.
The court presided over by Afua Adu-Amankwa sentenced Kofi Jumah to a fine of GHC1200 or in default, spend six months in prison.
There has been a mixed reaction on why the prosecution decided to charge Kofi Jumah under the criminal offences instead of the elections offences which hold a stiffer punishment.
Head of Prosecutions for the police in Ashanti, Supt Emmanuel Akonnor, tells Erastus Asare Donkor that decision was made by the Attorney General’s Office.
“To us as the prosecution, we are okay with it as it serves as a deterrent because it gives an indication that nobody is above the law,” Supt Akonnor said, adding that considering Mr Jumah’s previous offices shows the law is not intimidated by people’s positions.
He said they did not charge him with election offenses which would have barred him from voting for the next five years because the AG thought it right to charge him under the Criminal Offences Act.
“The AG took into consideration the market value of the item that was destroyed which is about four pages of an electoral book, if we give it a market value now, it won’t be more than GHC100, so whatever charged proferred I believe is fair,” he said.