IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF JUDICATURE
IN THE COURT OF APPEAL (CRIMINAL DIVISION)
ACCRA - A.D 2018
JUSTICE DZOKOTO - (Appellant)
THE REPUBLIC - (Respondent)
DATE: 24TH JULY, 2018
APPEAL NO: H2/18/17
JUDGES: V.D. OFOE J.A (PRESIDING), B.F. ACKAH-YENSU J.A, I. O. TANKO AMADU J.A
TANKO AMADU J.A
(1) In the High Court Accra, the Appellant and one other were convicted and sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment each on the two count charge of conspiracy to commit robbery contrary to Sections 231 and 149 of the Criminal Offences Act 1960, Act 29 as amended by the Criminal Code (Amendment) Act 2003, Act 646, and robbery contrary to Section 149 of the Criminal Offences Act 1960, Act 29 as amended by the Criminal Code (Amendment) Act 2003, Act 646.
(2) In his judgment, the Trial Judge delivered as follows:
“From the admissions of the first accused person, (not the Appellant herein) he agreed and acted together with the second accused (Appellant herein) to rob the 1st accused person’s uncle at Kasoa. It was the first accused person, Atta Kofi, who drove the second accused person and another person to his uncle’s house, showed them where the house was and waited for them to rob his uncle after which they returned with the stolen money and they drove back to Accra. The prosecution established beyond reasonable doubt that the two accused persons agreed and acted together to rob the first accused person’s uncle at Kasoa. They used force because during the robbery, the other accomplice who is at large held a machete with which they threatened the woman from whom they robbed of the €7,300 (Euros). There was an intention to prevent or overcome the resistance of the woman they met in the first accused person’s uncle’s house. It was the two accused persons who conspired and robbed the first accused person’s uncle of his money. They are both convicted on both charges of the offences leveled against them. They are each sentenced to fifteen (15) years imprisonment on both counts to run concurrently”.
(3) By notice filed on 24/03/2017, the Appellant has appealed to this court on four grounds of appeal as set out in the notice of appeal. In the written submission of the Appellant all grounds except one which seeks reduction of the sentence imposed on the Appellant were abandoned. Accordingly, the said grounds which sought to impugn the conviction of the Appellant are hereby struck out.
(4) From his written submission, it is obvious that the Appellant seeks a reduction of his sentence on compassionate grounds. This relief is anchored on two legs (i) that the Appellant is a first offender who has demonstrated remorse and (ii) no bodily harm was caused to the complainant when she was attacked. Strangely however, inspite of the undisputed fact that the Appellant was convicted and sentenced on the basis of admissions, his counsel refers to the robbery incident as an allegation. He contends that; “To err is human and to forgive is divine”. Consequently the Appellant’s sentence be reduced to the barest minimum.
(5) Counsel for the Respondent has vehemently contested this appeal even as the Appellant seeks reduction of sentence only. It is submitted by the Respondent’s counsel that since there is a mandatory minimum threshold of 15 years for the counts on which the Appellant was convicted and sentenced, as provided by the combined effects of Sections 149 and 150 of Act 29 and the penal provision provided under Section 296(1) of the Criminal and other offences (Procedure) Act 1960, Act 30 neither the Trial Court nor this court could lawfully sentence the Appellant to a lower term.
(6) Upon our review of these provisions, we find the legal arguments urged on us by the Respondent’s counsel as unassailable and unanswerable.
(7) As we have no power to reduce the sentence imposed on the Appellant being the minimum statutory threshold we are unable to disturb the sentence imposed on the Appellant. Consequently, the appeal fails and we accordingly dismiss same.