52-year-old Imam, Tamimu Mohammed has been jailed on three separate occasions for engaging in drugs and in illegal mining.
In an interview with Crime Check TV GH, he said he was an experienced weed smoker who started smoking when he was in class six.
Mohammed said whiles working with a mining company, his white manager introduced him to cocaine sniffing which became part of him.
Unfortunately for him, he was made redundant when he became a victim of a lay-off during the company’s downsizing of its employees. He said during his redundancy, he led people to abandoned pits of gold reserves where they mined.
According to him, his drugging lifestyle did not sit well with his family so he did not get support from them when he needed help.
“I smoked heavily and sniffed cocaine as well. Due to that I am unable to save. My first time in prison, I was jailed ten days, in my second imprisonment, I was jailed three years and currently I am serving a nine months jail term,” he said.
He added, ‘my wife left me when she learnt about my drugging lifestyle. I should not be struggling but because of drugs nobody is willing to help me.”
Imam Mohammed indicated that he is a plumber and would want to establish a plumbing business when he leaves prison vowing to quit drugs.
The recidivist said his family did not help him access his savings to enable him pay a fine of One Thousand Two Hundred Ghana cedis resulting in his imprisonment.
“My relatives said I am stubborn so they did not care when I was being sentenced. Though I could afford the fine they did not help me access my money,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer of the Kumasi Central Prison, DSP Richard Bukari has urged Mohammed’s family to give him the necessary support to enable him reintegrate properly into society.
He indicated that neglecting such persons rather worsens their situation.
“Families and societies should rather embrace people no matter how they are. This will help them feel a sense of belonging which will create a safe space for them to re-integrate into society,” he entreated.
With support from a donor, ‘Star of David’, Crime Check Foundation (CCF) paid the fine for his release when it visited him at the prison.
Mohammed was grateful for the gesture and promised to turn a new leaf.
“God bless you for the support. I was very excited when I heard I would be going home. I have been worried about my family’s neglect so I have stopped doing drugs,” he vowed.
Aside paying the fines of petty offenders and re-integrating them into society, Crime Check Foundation (CCF) has introduced programmes including the latest ‘Stay Away From Trouble’ as part of its crime prevention advocacy project.
Through these programmes CCF cautions the general public against acts that could land them in trouble in a bid to curb crime.
The Foundation screens one-on-one interviews with prison inmates bringing to bear acts that landed them in prison and the difficulties they face in custody.
By Rudolph Nandi