Crime & Punishment of Monday, 14 January 2013
An Accra Circuit Court on Monday sentenced Amewonye Seglah, unemployed, to 18 months in prison for possessing three wrappers of partly smoked dry leaves suspected to be Indian hemp.
The accused whose smoking habit had been a nuisance in the family house at Akweteyman where he resided, was charged for the use of narcotic drugs contrary to section 5(1) of PNDC Law 236/90.
Seglah, who pleaded guilty to the offence, was convicted on his own plea and subsequently sentenced.
The accused had earlier told the court presided over by Mr Francis Obiri that he got into smoking through curiosity and had been smoking for the past five years.
Mr Francis Obiri, the trial judge, said Seglah was given the length of the jail term due to the quantity of the substance in his possession.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Patrick A. Morkeh said the complainant who is the mother of the accused also lived in the family house at Akweteman.
He said the accused had developed the habit of smoking the banned substance despite the several efforts by the family to stop him and this had led to numerous visits to the psychiatric hospital as the inhalation of the substance changed his behaviour in the community.
DSP Morkeh said the accused last visit to the Accra Psychiatric Hospital was on December 20, 2012 where he was admonished to stop smoking the substance but later went back to it and on January 3, 2013 when the complainant spotted the accused smoking the similar substance in the house she quickly called in the police for his arrest.
He said a search conducted into the accused pockets revealed three wrappers of partly smoked Indian hemp and claimed he bought the drugs on the street of Akweteman.