From Samuel Duodu,
The Duayaw-Nkwanta Circuit Court in the Tano North District of the Brong Ahafo Region presided over by Mr Justice Emmanuel Amo Yartey has sentenced a "wee" (Indian hemp) seller at Bechem in the Tano South District to 20 years’ imprisonment for possessing narcotic drugs.
The accused, Madam Francisca Gyasi, 40, who was standing trial for two different cases, but on the same charges of possessing narcotic drugs, was sentenced 10 years for each case bringing the total number of years to serve the prison sentence to 20 years.
Francisca, who pleaded guilty to the charges, asked to be forgiven, but the trial judge in his response said the she did not deserve any leniency because she sold her 'stuff' to the public including basic schoolchildren.
According to Mr Justice Yartey, the court gave her a stiff sentence to serve as a deterrent to those engaging in such business which only goes a long way to destroy the lives of the youth.
The presiding judge also ordered that the dried leaves should be burnt in the presence of the police commander, the circuit court judge and the district chief executive.
The facts of the case are that the complainants in the case were police officers at Bechem, while the convict a trader, also residing at Bechem.
On October 25, 2006 the accused was arrested by the police with dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp and a forensic report received from the Police Forensic Laboratory at the Police Headquarters in Accra proved that the dried leaves were wee.
On October 3, 2007 around 1.00 p.m., the police went to look for the accused who was then on court bail pending forensic report and upon arrival at the convict's house the police saw some youngsters dressed in school uniforms in the house. Immediately they saw the police they took to their heels.
The police became suspicious and therefore decided to have a look at a bowl beside the accused who was then in the kitchen washing. However, the accused claimed the bowl contained food, but when the police opened the bowl it contained 27 wrappers of the dried leaves later certified as wee.
The accused was arrested and taken to the police station with the bowl as exhibit. The Bechem District Police Commander ordered his men to go back to the house to conduct further search. When that was done it led to the discovery of some dried leaves and seeds in a big polythene bag in the room of the accused.
After thorough investigation the convict was charged with the offence and put before the court.