The Supreme Court has told acquitted 40-year teacher, who was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment for allegedly defiling one of his pupils that he must “be joking if he thinks it will order the state to pay him compensation to the tune of GH¢7.1 million.
According to a panel of five judges presided by Justice Anin Yeboah with Sule Gbadegbe, Paul Baffoe Bonney, Gabriel Pwamang and Yaw Appau assisting, the compensation is not meant to turn him into a millionaire.
The court therefore urged him to pursue his reinstatement by the Ghana Education Service (GES) while the Ministry of Finance works on paying any arrears due him.
Eric Asante, who was then teaching in the Northern Region, was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment in hard labour in 2015 for allegedly defiling a 14-year-old pupil in his class.
He was however acquitted in January 2016 by the Supreme Court following an appeal after a DNA test carried out on the baby believed to be a result of the alleged defilement proved that he was not the father of the child.
Prior to his acquittal, he was granted bail by the apex court in 2015 based on good conduct after serving two-thirds of his jail term.
He subsequently went to the Supreme Court seeking compensation from the state for the number of years he spent in prison.
Appearing before the court yesterday, Asiama Sampong, a Chief State Attorney, told the court that they had written to the GES for him to be reinstated as well as the Finance Ministry for his arrears.
He said the letters were written on January 7, 2018 but the Attorney General’s Office is yet to receive response from the two entities.
He therefore prayed the court to give them some time.
Defence counsel, Victor Kwesi Opoku, told the court that they were working fervently to ensure his reinstatement and payment of arrears.
Jusctice Anin Yeboah expressed concern about the delay in enforcing the orders of the court.
He urged the teacher to look at other options to enforce the orders of the court rather than running to court to collect “debts” for him.
The court subsequently adjourned the matter for the last time to April 18, 2018 by which time the teacher would have been reinstated by GES.
By Gibril Abdul Razak