He is a living example of the saying that when life throws lemons at you, make lemonades out of them.

Forty-six-year-old Richard Nyarko was a junior high school (JHS) dropout when he was jailed in 1997 for 24years for car theft, an accusation he has denied.

After more than 20 years of prison life, he walked out of the Nsawam Prison as an author, an evangelist and a degree holder.

Scores of family members gathered outside to wait for Richard Nyarko on the day of his release. Many of them have not seen him in decades. His sister, Patience, a nurse was only five years when his brother was jailed. Now, she is 29. Richard was only 22 now he is 46

It was a normal day sometime in 1997. A friend he had met earlier begged him to accompany him to sell a car. Richard says he did not know it was a stolen car. As he changed the registration number of the car ready to be sold an alarm was raised and a mob approached.

He says he became scared and tried to flee. He was overpowered by the blood-thirsty crowd who beat him to pulp and put around his neck car tyres like a necklace. At this point, he was ready to be set ablaze. Richard says the unavailability of petrol in the area was the only reason he is alive today.

“So in the course of the running, they suspected me as an armed robber. They beat me to the point of death. They brought a car tyre, they tied me down and they put the tyre on me. They were not able to get the petrol and a police patrol team came to rescue me,” he recounted.