Samson Lardy Anyenini, a lawyer cum journalist, has advised some Ghanaian celebrities commenting on the sentencing of Akuapem Poloo to 90-day imprisonment to stop speaking about things regarding the law which they know nothing about.
According to him, these celebrities have an influence especially on the youth and it is expected that before they act on a cause or matter, they seek professional advice if it is not a matter for common social commentary.
During the trial of Akuapem Poloo, some celebrities started a campaign on Social Media dubbed #FreeAkuapemPoloo.
Some of these celebrities went on asking uninformed questions such as why the actress, Akuapem Poloo, was imprisoned after her conviction on Wednesday, April 14.
Some also stated that the case was concluded too swiftly because the Akuapem Poloo cases was against a poor citizen; and that the law is against the poor.
Explaining some of the uninformed issues raised by the celebrities on his flagship News file programme monitored by GhanaWeb, Anyenini questioned why the celebrities want the rules of the country changed just because it is Akuapem Poloo.
He explained that Akuapem Poloo was arrested in July last year for the publication of obscene material and two counts of domestic violence, appeared in court and pleaded not guilty and was granted bail.
“She changed her plea, obviously upon advice, after she and her lawyer had been, as required by law, served with the evidence the prosecution was going to use for the trial. Tell me if you were also given those documents to examine or what informs your loud protest that she should not have pleaded guilty? The evidence must have included her public admission and apology video – how was she going to defend that? Leave her lawyer alone!” Samson Lardy Anyenini stressed.
He added that if Akuapem Poloo had gone through the full trial and wasted the time of the court and the whole of the country especially when she had admitted her offence in a video, her punishment would have been worse and not just a lenient jail term of 90 days.
Lawyer Anyenini asked, “What did you want the court or judge to do after she pleaded guilty? What exactly do you mean by it was too swift compared to other cases involving prominent people? Which cases are you talking about and who has pleaded guilty and their case has not ended because they are powerful, connected or rich? But when did it become the job of the courts to go arresting people you claim must also be facing prosecution?”
He explained, “except for a capital offence, once an accused person pleads guilty, a judge is constitutionally, legally bound to convict and pass a sentence that will be swift. The court is the creation of law and the judge works with the law.”
Lawyer Anyenini continued: “A suspect has been brought to court, she pleads guilty and is convicted to wait for sentencing, and you are preaching the convict should be allowed to go home and not kept in the custody of the State?
“What will you think and say if she doesn’t show up for conviction, does anything or runs? Is this how you want convicts to be treated? Stop spewing absolute ignorance without deeper thought or a scruple principle!”
He further questioned the logic behind the assertion that Akuapem Poloo is a single mother and it is not proper for the law to separate her and her child for either two days or more.
“Okay, granted she, in fact, is responsible for the child 24/7; this will be the first time she will ever be away from the child for two days or even a month or more? Do we have single mothers in custody, in prison, or let them go when they plead or are found guilty of an offence?” lawyer Anyenini asked.