Boy or man? - Police, mother haggle over bearded suspect’s age
Drama unfolded at the Akyem-Oda District Magistrate Court last Wednesday when the police engaged in hot exchanges with a suspected murderer, Bless Gavivor, and his mother, Ms Abena Asor, over the suspect’s actual age.
While Gavivor, supported by his mother, claimed that the suspect was 17 years old and, therefore, a minor, the police insisted that the bearded Gavivor was an adult and could be tried at the court.
Mother in witness box
The presiding magistrate, Mr Kwesi Apiatse Abaidoo, therefore, invited the mother of the accused in the witness box and asked her to produce documents such as the son’s birth certificate, a voter identity card or Ghana card but she said Gavivor did not possess any of them.
The woman then produced an old picture of herself and her husband and when the magistrate asked her about the significance of the photograph in the case, she replied that it was taken when the accused was one week old.
When Mr Abaidoo asked the mother when Gavivor was born, she couldn’t give the date but stated that he started his basic education at Sefwi Asawinso when he was four years old.
She said Gavivor continued his primary education at Akyem Aboabo Presbyterian Primary School near Akyem-Oda. He then went back to continue his schooling at Sefwi Asawinso and later continued at Aboabo Methodist Junior High School.
The prosecutor, Detective Inspector Richard Mekporsigbe, intervened to produce a medical report on the accused from a medical specialist at the Oda Government Hospital.
The medical examination on the accused, which was conducted in the presence of Gavivor’s parents, proved that the accused was an adult whose age was between 21 and 22 years.
No remand, no bail for accused
The magistrate said in view of the confusion over the actual age of Gavivor, he could neither remand him in custody nor grant him bail and told the police to take the accused back to where they brought him from.
He, however, ordered the Registrar of the court to bring the headmaster of Aboabo Methodist JHS to court on June 29, 2021, to help determine the actual age of the accused.
The facts of the case, as presented by the prosecutors were that Gavivor allegedly stabbed a 40-year-old undertaker, John Mensah Amissah, aka Kwabena Agyei, to death at Bo Mpae Junction near Akyem Aboabo at dawn on August 19, 2019.
After the act, Gavivor fled to his home in Togo. On June, 2021, the police had a tip-off that Gavivor had returned to Ghana and taken refuge at Aboabo.
The police then traced the accused to his hideout at Aboabo, arrested him and took his caution statement during which he confessed to killing Amissah.
He was then put before the court where the controversy about his age arose.
The case has been adjourned to June 29, 2021.