Man jailed 10 years for trying to kill Ghana's president


Accused was arrested on Sunday for brandishing loaded pistol at church frequented by president

By Umaru Amadu

ACCRA, Ghana – A 36-year-old man was sentenced to ten years in jail on Tuesday for attempting to kill Ghanaian President John Mahama earlier this week.

Charles Antwi was arrested on Sunday after being spotted with a loaded pistol at a church at which Mahama frequently attends services.

On Tuesday afternoon, at an Accra high court, Antwi pleaded guilty to the charge of unlawful possession of firearms.

After a trial that lasted less than two hours, Judge Francis Obiri delivered the sentence.

According to the charge sheet, Antwi was found in possession of “a locally made pistol and two rounds of ammunition, which he purchased from a Burkina Faso national.”

During the trial, Antwi declared that “trying to kill the president was a way of fighting for the nation.” 

“The nation’s current electoral system is not helping improve its democracy,” he added.

He went on to confess that he had tried to kill Mahama in order to assume the presidency himself, noting that he had visited the church four times in search of the president.

Antwi did not have any legal representation at the trial – one of Ghana’s fastest-ever criminal trials – leading to questions among the public regarding his state of mind and the quality of justice delivered.