The competence of the lawyer representing Rosemond Alade Brown aka Akuapem Poloo has been called to question following the guilty plea by Akuapem Polo that has resulted in her conviction pending her sentencing today Friday, April 16, 2021.
For some people, Akuapem Polo’s lawyer should have guided her to not plead guilty so as to allow the prosecution to prove its case against her.
Following public outcry after Akuapem Polo had posted a nude of herself with her son on social media, she was arrested and slapped with three charges: the publication of obscene materials and engaging in domestic violence namely conduct that in any way undermines another person’s privacy or integrity and engaging in domestic violence namely conduct that in any way detracts or is likely to detract from another person’s dignity and worth as a human being.
She has pleaded guilty to all these charges. This has riled many, especially on social media. The anger of those opposed to her guilty plea has been made worse after it came to light that before the last hearing of the case that resulted in her guilty plea and conviction, the lawyer had failed to appear in court but merely obstructed her to hand over a letter to the judge pleading for an adjournment of the case to June.
“I see no good reason whether in Law or common sense by which Akuapem Poloo should be jailed.
I also agree with my brother Kwaku Azar when he says she should not have pleaded guilty so the prosecution would prove their case beyond doubt! Even if the case is proven, how anyone is helped especially the child of a single mother, if his only parent is jailed!???? and why place a young woman in our crowded jails for such an offence?” Communicator and politician, Dela Coffie wondered.
Legal luminary and Professor, Stephen Kwaku Asare( Kwaku Azar) also questioned the rationale behind her guilty plea, stressing that the prosecution should have been made to prove their case and the constitutionality of some of the charges.
“We must re-examine the way that we allow the State to bully indigent defendants as well as those who do not understand the law.
I do not understand the charges leveled against Akuapim Polo and I doubt whether they are constitutional or can be proven.
Our law faculties must operate clinics to take up such issues. We need to set up a Human Rights Protection Society to take up such issues.
Judges must not accept such pleas unless they have taken affirmative steps to explain the elements of the offense to the defendant in a language that she understands and additional steps to ascertain that the defendant understands what they have explained.
It is not enough to hold annual lectures on Re Akoto when Akoto never died.
Akuapem Polo may have shown bad judgment but it is hard to see what crimes she has committed,” he argued.
Kofi Bentil of Imani Africa agreed with Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare, saying that committing her to jail makes no sense in law or common sense.
Meanwhile a push for a noncustodial sentence for her continues to gather momentum on social media with celebrities and ordinary Ghanaians appealing to the court to tamper justice with mercy and forgive her or slap an inexpensive fine on her.
Source: My News GH