A man who is said to have caused the death of his cousin Fredrick Nii Oko Sackey has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and has been jailed five years imprisonment.

Godwin Kotey, unemployed, was initially charged for murder and pleaded not guilty but has changed his plea by admitting to manslaughter upon negotiations with the state.

The accused (convict) had activated the Plea Bargaining Act, and entered into Agreement with the Attorney General to plead guilty to manslaughter for a lesser punishment, as allowed by the law.

Kotey had pleaded not guilty and was to stand trial for murder but following the agreement with the State, his plea was accepted by the Court for manslaughter.

He was charged following a confrontation he had with his cousin over his girlfriend whom she had entrusted into the care of the deceased which led to his death.

“My Lady respectfully, we have entered into plea negotiations with the Attorney General and we would respectfully like to change the plea of the accused person from not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter,” Edwin Hoffman Counsel holding brief of Kwame Appiah told the Court while pointing to section 239(2) of Act 30.

AG’s position

Vivian Osei Tutu, a Senior State Attorney for part, said the Attorney General has accepted the proposal for the accused to plead to manslaughter for a lesser punishment.

“My Lady respectfully, like I indicated to the Court before the Christmas break, indeed Counsel for the accused person proposed to change his plea and also suggested the number of years that they wanted,” the Senior State Attorney Stated.

“My Lady indeed the proposal was sent to the DPP (Director of Public Prosecution) and then forwarded to the Attorney-General.

“We have received approval from the Attorney General and we have spoken at the bar for a number of years,” she explained.

“Though we rejected the number of years they proposed, we have agreed on the number of years which the prosecution felt is reasonable. I will leave Counsel for the accused to tell the Court what we have agreed on,” she stated.

By Court

Justice Lydia Osei Marfo, the trial judge after hearing submissions from the parties and upon the retaking of the plea of the accused, convicted him.

“The accused person is found guilty on his plea to manslaughter and is convicted accordingly,” the Judge stated.

“I have considered the circumstances of this case and I also believe that the proposal of a sentence of five years is reasonable and hereby sentence the accused person to five years prison custody with hard labour.

The Court said the “right (of the convict) under Article 42(6) was considered.”

Brief facts

It was the case of Vivian Osei Tutu, a Senior State Attorney that the accused  (now convict) is a married man resident at JamesTown near the Salaga Market.

While the Deceased, Fredrick Nii Oko Sackey is a cousin of the accused (convict).

According to her, sometime in June, 2020, the accused (convict) who is a married man asked the deceased to accommodate his girlfriend/fiancée, Victoria Sabbah in his abode “since he could not bring her to live with his wife.”

“Accused (convict) later became suspicious of the relationship between the deceased and his fiancé and accused the two of having an affair behind his back. This allegation generated a series of confrontations and the deceased asked the lady, Victoria Sabbah to leave his room.

“Sometime in November, the fiancée, Victoria Sabbah went back to the deceased to plead with him to accommodate her as she didn’t have anywhere to stay,” the brief facts stated.

Cause of death

According to her, when the accused realized that the deceased continued to accommodate his fiancée, he intensified his accusation against the deceased and confronted him on the phone to return all the belongings of his fiancé to her.

“On 23rd November, an accused armed with a screwdriver went to Salaga Market to look for her and engaged the deceased in a heated argument. In the course of the fight, he pulled out the screwdriver and stabbed the deceased in the chest with it and bolted.

With the help of bystanders, they pursued the accused and handed him over to the Police.

“A pathologist at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital gave the cause of death as perforated right ventricle from stab injury to the chest.

“Accused confessed to the offence in his caution statement and was accordingly charged with the offence of murder and is now before this Court to be committed to stand trial,” she told the Court.

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM/Murtala Inusah