Family members and friends of Charles Antwi, have given conflicting accounts on the mental state of the 36-year-old gunman, who unsuccessfully tried on four occasions to kill President John Dramani Mahama with a locally-manufactured pistol, inside the Ringway Gospel branch of Assemblies of God Church in Accra.
But all the persons, who have so far spoken on the matter, claiming to know him, adequately maintained that Charles was mentally ill.
However, the General Secretary of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, has expressed dissatisfaction in the quick trial and sentencing of Charles Antwi. The NDC chief, is demanding a retrial.
The Herald has noted that his mother, brother, uncle and friend, have all given different account of where Charles Antwi’s mental ill health started, and attempts made to have him cured. Another conflicting point The Herald noted, is whether or not Charles, who has been sentenced to a 10-year jail term by Justice Francis Obiri, lived in Accra, Kumasi or Dadeisoaba in the Brong Ahafo Region.
While his mother, Madam Afia Agyaponmaa, 66 had publicly claimed on radio that her son’s mental health started two years ago, while living Dadeisoaba, his uncle also speaking on radio, claimed that his nephew went mad about five years ago. However, friends of Charles including, Kwame Ezekiel, based faraway in civil war ravaged Libya, have separately claimed that, his madness started in Libya and Italy, respectively.
His brother, Kwame Opoku, claimed he lived with him in Tema, their uncle claimed that Charles Antwi, rather lived in Accra where he rented an apartment. Earlier, Charles’ mother, had claimed that her gun-wielding son, was only on a visit to his brother in Accra for some few days.
Again, while Charles’s mother, claimed that her son refused to go to any hospital to seek medical attention, his brother, Kwame Poku, insisted that Charles was once given a psychiatric treatment in a private clinic in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, where according to him, he had lived and worked as a taxi driver. This runs contrary to the mother’s claim that, Charles lived with her and that she only took him to seek treatment for his mental health in shrine at Tanoso in Sunyani, also in the Brong Ahafo Region.
In her first ever radio interview after her son was convicted, Madam Afia Agyaponmaa, 66, told the media, her son had been mentally deranged over the past two years, with many attempts by her to get him cured, having failed.
Madam Agyaponmaa told Asempa FM on Tuesday that her son, a taxi driver at Dadeisoaba near Gosoa in the Brong Ahafo Region, had been with her until about a week ago, when he bid her farewell that, he was traveling to her elder brother, Kwame Opoku at Tema, to spend some holidays.
Some Kumasi-based taxi drivers, have also claimed that, they saw Charles about a week ago. Charles himself, had claimed that for four Sundays, he had been visiting President Mahama’s church to find and kill him.
While, Madam Afia Agyaponmaa said, she doesn’t know the source of Charles’ mental ill health, Kwame Ezekiel, domiciled in Libya, said Charles Antwi smoked Wee, adding his friend became “mad” after accidentally stepping on a bomb in Libya about four years ago.
Kwame Ezekiel said, Charles unfortunately stepped on a bomb that had been planted in a city in Libya after President Muammar Gaddafi’s overthrow in 2011.
According to Kwame Ezekiel, who claims to know the gunman for 11 years, soon after metals were inserted in the legs of Charles Antwi following the accident, he begun behaving strangely to the surprise of his fellow Ghanaians, who lived with him.
Ezekiel said, Charles, even before the Libyan President, Muammar Gaddafi was killed, had wanted to unseat him, but was advised not to try.
Speaking to Kasapa News from Libya on Wednesday, Kwame Ezekiel, expressed his disappointment over the action of the Judge, adding that a simple medical check on Charles Antwi, would have shown that he was mentally unstable.
“ All of us Ghanaians who lived with him here in Libya know that he is insane, he kept on saying that he wants to marry the daughter of Gaddafi and also become the President of Libya. On other occasions he said, Ashantes are calling on him to come back to Ghana and be the next Ashantehene.
Sometimes after feeding him, he turns round and insults you, we could no longer contain him here and so we took him to the Ghana Embassy where he was sent back to Ghana”. Kwame Ezekiel, also disclosed that Charles Antwi, smoked marijuana (wee) while he was in Libya, adding that “he looked decent from afar but when you engage him in a conversation, you’ll immediately notice that he is mentally unstable”.
Fresh details coming out indicate that Charles was once deported from Italy, because of his purported mental illness.
Details have also emerged that Charles after traveling to Libya later moved to Spain and then to Italy where he was seeking ‘greener pastures’ before eventually being deported to Ghana after the authorities in those countries detected his mental challenge.
Three of the friends he travelled with to Libya, were said to have had similar problems before they died. One other Ghanaian friend based in Italy who Charles used to live with, has also given his own account of his encounter with Charles, when he traveled from Libya to Italy.
Another man told a radio station in Ghana that Charles, used to live with him, but had no job and so his information is that, he slept with married women to be paid, while in Italy.
He said on days when he was unable to give money to Charles or feed him, he fought him and sometimes bit him. Later, according to the man, he threatened to overthrow the Italy president, leading to their decision to deport him back to Ghana.
Meanwhile, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, has expressed dissatisfaction in the quick trial and sentencing of the incarcerated Charles Antwi.
According to him, there is a fear that, the incarcerated gunman will eventually walk a free man should anybody appeal on his behalf, as it is becoming evident that the judge’s haste to make the accused person plead guilty as against the BNI’s request, will rather favor the accused.
Speaking on Okay Fm’s “Ade Akye Abia” Morning Show, General Mosquito, as he is known in political circles, bemoaned the hasty judgment by the Accra High Court judge, Justice Francis Obiri.
To him, finding out the person(s) behind the attempt on the President and the place the “mad man” bought the gun and how he managed to find where the President fellowship, will help to cement the case eventually.
“This is a serious case but many have made it a laughing issue; if the accused had succeeded in killing the president, the implication on the country would have been unbearable…the way the judge presided over the case is wrong because the BNI wanted the court to remand him for further investigation, and the judge decided to go on with the case,” he bemoaned.
“It looks to me the judgment rather will eventually set the accused person free and punish him…the judgment has paved way for an appeal and if the Appeals Court frees him, he walks away a free man and you can’t arrest him by the same charge,” he added.
He implored the BNI and the government to look for a way to appeal the sentence so that there can be investigations to unravel the mystery surrounding the assassination attempt on the life of President Mahama.
“The investigation into the case is not complete and now that he has been sentenced, it will be difficult to unravel certain questions which need answers. To me, the government itself should appeal against the ruling because the BNI did not go to seek for a trial of the case but to remand the accused for further investigations,” he stated.
Source: The Herald
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