Professor Emmanuel Yaw Benneh
Professor Emmanuel Yaw Benneh

Prof. Benneh’s murder: Kwayisi jailed 30 years

The Accra High Court has sentenced a mason apprentice, Ebenezer Kwayisi, to 30 years imprisonment for his role in the murder of a former law lecturer at the University of Ghana, Legon, Professor Emmanuel Yaw Benneh.

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Kwayisi was slapped with the jail term yesterday by the court presided over by Justice Mary Maame Ekue Yanzuh after he pleaded guilty to abetment to manslaughter.

The convict who was charged with abetment to commit murder decided to come under Section 239(2) of the Criminal and Other Offences (Procedure) Act, 1960 (Act 30) and reached an agreement with the prosecution to rather plead guilty to abetment to manslaughter, which carries a lesser sentence than murder.

Section 239 of Act 30

Under Section 239 (2) Act 30, a person charged with an offence can plead guilty to a similar offence related to the same offence based on an agreement with the prosecution.

In this regard, Kwayisi reached an agreement with the prosecution to plead guilty to abetment to manslaughter, which is a first-degree felony and carries a prison sentence of one day to life imprisonment, as compared to murder which carries an automatic punishment of life imprisonment.

Following the agreement, the prosecution recommended a sentence of 30 years on Kwayisi which was accepted by the court.

The convict will serve his jail term in hard labour.

Murder

Prof. Benneh was murdered at his residence in September 2020.

During the trial, the prime suspect, James Nana Womba, a cleaner at the residence of the former law lecturer, who confessed to killing the lecturer, died in police custody on October 17, 2020.

The prosecution said on September 12, 2020, at about 8 a.m., Prof. Benneh was found lying dead in a pool of blood in a prone position in a corridor leading to his bedroom, with his hands tied behind him with a white rope and his legs also tied with a green rope just below the knees and a cloth partly inserted into his mouth.

It said examination of the body of the victim revealed multiple marks of assault on the face.

It added that the police also found on the scene, a hand glove, a blood-stained white rope and blood stains on the walls.

Confession

According to the prosecution, on September 13, 2020, Womba was arrested and his fingerprints were taken and sent to the Finger Print Section of the CID Headquarters for examination.

The prosecution told the court that the result from the examination showed that the fingerprints captured at the crime scene were identical to those of Womba.

It added that Womba confessed to the crime during the investigation and mentioned one person (he was later set free) and Kwayisi as his accomplices.

 The two were subsequently arrested at their various hideouts.

Investigations

The prosecution informed the court that investigations also revealed that in August 2020, Womba hatched a plan to murder Prof. Benneh in his house.

It said two weeks later, Womba contacted Kwayisi to assist him in executing the plan.

The prosecution said Kwayisi agreed and on September 10, 2020, he went to the house of Prof. Benneh where he and Womba put their plan into action and killed the professor.

It was the case of the prosecution that the accused in his caution statement narrated he conspired with Womba to kill the victim.

Writer’s email: [email protected]

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