Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ghana Continues to Prosecute Over Consensual Sex

And thankfully, journalists keep letting us know about this. Like too many other countries, Ghana still prosecutes consenting adults for having sex with each other. And, in this case, they prosecute others who simply knew.

A Cape Coast circuit court yesterday convicted and jailed a middle-aged woman, Adjoa Francisca, for consenting to a conjugal relationship between her two biological children, Kofi Mensah, and Ama Essumanba, 19, which has produced a baby.

Adjoa Francisca is said to have taken a dowry of GH¢40 from her son, Mensah, a 22-year-old driver at Abaka in the Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese (AAK) District of the Central Region to enable him to marry his sister.

So what is the problem?

The woman pleaded guilty when she appeared before the court presided over by Florence Kai Otoo and was subsequently jailed seven years for aiding and abetting incestuous behaviour.

Seven years. Seven years in jail because consenting adults were having sex.

Kofi Mensah however pleaded not guilty and was remanded into police custody to re-appear on June 6, 2012.

What kind of a sentence is he facing?

His sister-cum-wife, Ama Essumanba, who is nursing a month-old baby from the relationship, was granted a GH¢2000 bail with two sureties.

Why break up a family with this wasteful prosecution?

Briefing DAILY GUIDE earlier, the regional DOVVSU Coordinator, George Appiah-Sakyi, indicated that the complainant of the case was Mensah’s mother, Adjoa Francisca.

He added that the mother reported the matter to his outfit when Mensah threatened to beat her up if she tried to stop them from their amorous relationship.

Something doesn’t make sense here. She incriminated herself? Perhaps she was threatened and/or beaten, and figured that was a crime and wanted to report it, and didn’t realize that consensual sex can also be a crime? And if her son or daughter threatened her or beat her, isn’t that the real crime?

There was no mention of there being any problem with the child, and I’m sure they would have mentioned that if there was a problem. Another article names the mother of the lovers as Francisca Hackman.

The law should not prosecute consenting adults for their love, and friends and family shouldn’t bother trying to interfere, if they aren’t going to be supportive. People should be prosecuted for assaults and threats, not having sex.
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