SC upholds death sentence of man who abused, killed wife with acid

"The appellant has failed to mount a successful attack on the admissibility or content of Exhibit D. No objection was taken at the time the evidence was admitted and no effort has been made to show that such admission caused a miscarriage of justice," the court noted.

Is allowance instantly strangers applauded

A turbulent relationship full of bitter quarrels and misunderstandings was an affair the deceased wife, Akua Praba did her very best to escape by her numerous packings from the matrimonial home.

She did complain about the constant abuse and noted even that on one occasion when they fought, he stripped her stark naked in public.

It however seems that the fight that followed the heated attempt at resolving one of their marital disputes was not taken too seriously until around 11 pm on March 3, 2006, when he splashed Akua Praba with acid while sleeping in a room with their three-year-old child.

Kweku Attah, who was a taxi driver, was then arrested after this incident despite the conflicting account between him and the prosecution.

He claimed that he unknowingly got to be arrested upon returning to Cape Coast following a call from one Opanyin Danso.

On its part, the prosecution indicated that after the dastardly act, Kweku went into hiding in the bush for three days and that he later showed up in the house of a relation who then alerted the Police, leading to his arrest at Assin Nkran.

Kweku Attah was therefore arraigned before the court and charged with murdering Akua Praba, his wife. 

One issue that became a bone of contention from the trial court to the Supreme Court was a tendered ‘Exhibit D’ which is a caution statement containing a confession by Kweku Atta to the crime of splashing acid on the deceased wife.

At the end of the trial, he was convicted of the murder of his wife and sentenced to death on a unanimous verdict of guilty.

Court of Appeal

Subsequently, Kweku Attah filed an appeal in which he argued among others that the admission of the ‘Confession Statement’ was wrongful. However, the Court of Appeal rejected this and affirmed the conviction.

Supreme Court

The appellant’s counsel, first of all, made an allegation of forgery against the prosecution relative to the signature on the Confession statement since according to him, there was no independent witness during Kweku Attah’s supposed admission to sign the statement but kept shifting position relative to the existence or otherwise of the independent witness.

As such, the court in the opinion of Mensa-Bonsu(JSC) found the inconsistency by the counsel worrying and the fact that he just made a mere allegation without corroborating same with any evidence.

In the end, the court found that the words of the appellant provided the strongest evidence against him and also because no objection was raised pursuant to the tendering of ‘Exhibit D’.

Additionally, the court established that a plastic container found; wounds on the appellant’s hands; and the fact that he went into hiding after the incident were circumstantial evidence that offered corroboration to the substance of the confession statement.

The court then held that the evidence on the record was sufficient to convict the accused and so the Court of Appeal was not wrong in upholding the conviction thereby dismissing the appeal.

Read the full judgment on Dennislaw.