The Supreme Court (SC) has awarded a GHS45,000 compensation to a teacher who was wrongfully jailed for 15-years on allegation of defiling and impregnating a student.
Mr. Eric Asante, was jailed 15 years in hard labour by the Tamale High Court for allegedly defiling and impregnating a 13-year-old female student of his.
The teacher who was acquitted in 2017, wanted compensation in excess of GHS7.3m for loss of income, psychological trauma, mental disorder among other things
But in a unanimous decision Wednesday, a five member panel of the Supreme Court held that Mr Asante failed to prove that he suffered any mental or emotional disorder while incarcerated.
The court, accordingly, decided to award him GHS3,180 for each year he spent behind bars.
Mr Asante spent 13-years behind bars and was therefore, awarded Ghc45,000.
The court has also ordered the government of Ghana to pay the 13-year salary of Mr Asante, which he lost as a result of his wrongful incarceration.
On September 5, 2005, Mr Asante was jailed 15-years in hard labour by the Tamale High Court for allegedly defiling and impregnating a 13-year-old girl who was his student.
The student claimed that Mr Asante was her lover and that he had, on many occasions, had sexual relations with her.
Throughout the trial, and even in prison, Mr Asante consistently denied the charges levelled against him, insisting that he never had any amorous relationship with the girl.
He, therefore, initiated an appeal at the Court of Appeal to prove his innocence, but, in October 2006, the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal and upheld his conviction.
Not satisfied, Mr Asante appealed to the Supreme Court in 2012. The apex court ordered a DNA test to be conducted to ascertain whether or not the teacher was the father of the child.
In a unanimous decision on January 26, 2017, the five-member panel held that the DNA test proved that Mr Asante was not the biological father of the baby and, therefore, he could not have been responsible for the pregnancy that brought forth the child.
According to the court, apart from the pregnancy, the prosecution in the trial that led to the conviction failed to present any other evidence that the alleged victim had been defiled by Mr Asante.
It further held that the so-called victim of the defilement, by lying that the teacher had impregnated her, was dishonest and, therefore, her testimony was deliberately false.