What would you do, if you got sentenced 40 years in prison for a crime you did not commit?
As part of the “My Life, My Story – Medadwen” series airing on TV Africa, the crew visited the Nsawam Medium Security Prisons and came across Yaw Acheampong, a young man handed a 40-year jail term for armed robbery; a crime he stoutly denies ever committing.
Before he was pushed into the confines of Nsawam, Yaw Acheampong had produced three children and taken up carpentering as an occupation at Nkawkaw where he also owned a booming drinking spot. On his return from a wood-work job one day, Acheampong was informed that a guy had been arrested in front of his bar so he should report at the police station for questioning.
Knowing he had clean hands, the pub owner reported at the police station the next morning – a Saturday – but met the absence of the police officer in charge of the case. First thing Monday morning, Yaw left home for the police station. On arrival at the station, he was arrested and slapped with the charge of robbery. Though refuting the accusation, Yaw was kept behind bars and denied bail for days before being arraigned for prosecution.
After a lengthy trial, the Nkawkaw (Magistrate/High) Court handed Yaw Acheampong a 40-year term to serve at Nsawam.
As fate would have it; years later, the armed robber arrested in front of Acheampong’s saloon – who had also been dumped in the cooler at Nsawam – would make a shocking confession. Yaw Acheampong knew absolutely nothing about the robbery and was, indeed, innocent of the offence for which he had been dispatched to jail! But, if the exoneration confession was shocking, what has since become even more confounding is that Yaw remains a prisoner yet to be freed.
You can watch the awe-inspiring interview with Yaw Acheampong on TV Africa this Thursday, 19th May; and Sunday, 22nd May; at 8:30pm sharp each day.