A convict, who had his five years’ term of imprisonment increased by the Court of Appeal to a further five years after he had finished serving the sentence, has gone to the Supreme Court for redress.
Mustapha Iddrisu, has filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal against the judgment of the High Court in which he was sentenced to five years for causing harm.
The appeal was, however, determined by the Court of Appeal, two days after he had finished serving his sentence and had been released from prison.
A three-member panel of the Court of Appeal, in its judgment, enhanced his sentence by a further five years, making it 10 years.
Per law, an appeal’s court when determining an appeal, can either reduce or enhance a sentence, or acquit a convict if it finds him or her not guilty.
He has invoked the supervisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court with a certiorari application, asking the apex court to quash the decision of the Court of Appeal on the basis that it is a nullity and a miscarriage of justice.
The application is before a five-member panel of the Supreme Court, presided over by the Chief Justice, Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, with Justices Gabriel Pwamang, Nene Amegatcher, Gertrude Torkornoo and Prof. Henreitta Mensa Bonsu as members.
Mr Iddrisu is of the contention that his appeal was moot and, therefore, the Court of Appeal was wrong in law to have enhanced his sentence.
“The Court of Appeal wrongly exercised jurisdiction when it delivered judgment on an appeal that had become moot as there was no appeal pending at the time the court delivered the judgment, because the applicant had fully executed the sentence imposed on him by the High Court,” he argued.
Again, Mr Iddrisu is making a case that at the time the Court of Appeal made its decision, there was no sentence for the court to either reduce or enhance since he had fully served the five years sentence imposed on him by the High Court.
“This has occasioned a substantial miscarriage of justice against the applicant,” the certiorari application said.
The case was first heard at the Supreme Court on October 25, this year, during which the court granted an application by the Attorney-General (A-G) for extension of time to respond to Iddrisu’s application.
Lawyer for Iddrisu, Obeng Darko, told the court that his client was now back in prison.
Justice Amegatcher then asked counsel whether his client would have taken advantage of the Court of Appeal’s decision if it had gone in his favour, to which counsel answered that there was no advantage since the sentence had fully been served.
The panel, however, reminded counsel that there was an advantage as the conviction could have been quashed and erased from his client’s record.
The Chief Justice further told counsel that the appeal was actively pending and, therefore, the Court of Appeal had a duty to determine it.
However, the Chief Justice said the case was a novel case and, therefore, the two parties should file their legal arguments, including cases from other jurisdictions that had dealt with such issues.
Hearing continues on December 15.