Man Jailed 39 Years For Shooting His 7-Month-Old Wife In Her Sleep

  • A 44-year-old man has been thrown in jail for 39 years for attempting to kill his wife in her sleep
  • Effort Dankwa shot his then-pregnant wife while she was sound asleep in a gruesome move believed to be an attempt to get rid of the baby his wife was carrying
  • Benita Dankwa, the wife, is now paralysed and explained that her husband never wanted to have any kids
  • Effort was found guilty by five out of a seven-member jury that returned their verdict and was sentenced on March 14, 2023.

A court in Accra has jailed a man for 39 years after a long-drawn-out court battle for a crime he committed against his wife and the state in 2015. Effort Dankwa, the man, shot his seven-month-old wife Benita at close range in her chest while she was sleeping, but she survived after an operation to remove the foetus and the bullet.

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State prosecutors insisted and proved to the Accra High Court that the incident was a clear case of attempted murder, although Effort Dankwa blatantly denied any wrongdoing.

Effort did not want children 

Although Benita Dankwa survived the gruesome attempt on her life, she was never the same again. She was paralysed from her chest down, according to a riveting report first published by The Fourth Estate on March 10, 2023

Effort Dankwa did not confess to the crime nor suggest any possible motive for wanting to take the life of his wife, however, his now-paralysed wife said she is convinced that her husband shot her to get rid of the child she was carrying.

“I wanted to have kids, but he said he didn’t want kids before and during the marriage,” she explained in evidence she adduced in court. 

Initially, Effort, now 44, was arrested by the police and jailed briefly but was released subsequently. But upon further investigations, he was rearrested a year later, in 2016. Police investigations established that there was no break-in the day Benita was shot. Also, Benita’s cousin, Priscila, told the court that she saw Effort’s towel soaked in blood tucked secretly under the bed while cleaning their bedroom a day after the incident.

The jury’s verdict was fair

Benita’s parents say although the case has taken many years to conclude, they are happy with the verdict by a seven-member jury that pronounced a guilty verdict on Effort by a five-to-two vote. The jury was made up of six men and one woman. For a criminal offence punishable by death, a unanimous decision by the jury was not required. But a guilty verdict by at least five members of the jury was required.

“It is not the number of years he is going to spend in prison that matters to me, but the fact that he has been proven guilty is my main interest. I am satisfied and okay with the court,” Benita’s dad, Seth Yirenkyi, said after the case was concluded.


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