The 16-year-old boy, Abdallah Mohammed, who was jailed 25 years for stealing ¢10 and sentenced to an adult prison, the Kumasi Central Prison, has been released from prison after having spent 11 years sentence out of the 25 years he was originally supposed to serve.
The boy, now a 27-year-old adult, was released from prison on September 22, 2020, after an appeal was won in his favour.
His tragic story was featured on the Corruption Watch show on Adom FM in 2019. Following the publication, a law firm, JustKing, contacted Corruption Watch and offered master Mohammed a pro-bono service to get him released from prison.
Master Mohammed, following his freedom, appeared on the Corruption Watch show on October 3, 2020, to share his story and experience after his case was first made public on the Corruption Watch show in 2019.
According to him, he became aware of the publication after inmates who had access to social media informed him about it. He added that when the show became trendy on social media and in the prison, he began receiving visitors from human rights institutions and as a result, prison officers allegedly summoned and verbally assaulted him for putting his case before the media.
He said, they accused his mother of being behind the publication.
He said, days after his encounter with the prison officers, a transfer news came to him. He was, thus, asked to pack his belongings and prepare for another change in his life.
He was being moved from the Kumasi Central Prison located in the capital of the Ashanti Region to the Cape Coast Maximum Security Prison at Ankafo in the Central Region.
Master Mohammed, during his 11-year stay in prison, has trained himself to become a barber. After a court ruling on September 21, 2020, he was informed of his pending release, an information he disbelieved.
“I was there when a prison officer came and asked me how I will feel if I should be freed within now and Friday and I told him I will be happy then he told me to pack my things and prepare for my release. Although I was happy to hear that, I didn’t prepare like instructed because I didn’t believe it,” he recounted.
“On September 22, 2020, I was on my normal routine, cutting the hair of an inmate when I was summoned to the office. I was asked if I had finished packing as instructed and I said no. The officer was shocked. He then asked me to rush in and get my things because my mother was waiting outside to take me home. Even at that point, I still wasn’t sure if it was real. It was when I got to the entrance of the prison that I realised it was indeed real and I was truly free,” he added.
According to him, one thing he was excited about was to see his grandmother after 11 years apart without saying goodbye. His joy was, however, cut short when he was informed upon arrival at home that his grandmother had passed on weeks earlier.
At the time of his arrest and sentencing, he was under the custody of his grandmother, whom he thought was his biological mother.
She was denied the right to see her son when he was arrested and she was also not informed about it or given the opportunity to be present during the trial.
“One thing I was really happy about was that I was going to see my grandmother again. Unfortunately for me, I was informed when I got home that the family was preparing to hold her 40-days observation in Islam. We lost the opportunity to see each other again before she passed,” he sadly said.
He said he feels lost and has no idea how and where to restart his life. He disclosed his desire to relocate to Accra. This, he said, will help him begin to forget about the past.
He was 15 years when he was arrested by a mob, beaten and ¢16 he had on him stolen by the mob before being handed to police for allegedly robbing one of them of ¢10, an accusation he has continuously denied.
He was subsequently remanded and later sentenced to 25 years at age 16.