On Monday, around 9:00am, another thief was caught stealing students’ valuables at Legon Hall.
As with all thieves who are apprehended on campus, he claimed to be a student, as his ‘get out of jail free card’. Before the students who apprehended him took him to the porters lodge to verify this status/claim, they gave him a little taste of Gono.
Gono is a form of instant justice practiced on the University of Ghana Legon campus, where people caught stealing (students and non-students alike) are beaten and paraded in humiliation around campus before they are handed over to the authorities.
In the past, Gono was very severe and extreme. Sometimes, the culprit was stripped naked, beaten to a pulp, dragged into dirty ponds on campus and taken through all manner of humiliation to deter others from stealing. This practice was especially warranted because following the due process usually resulted in the thief getting away scot-free.
However, after the famous Amina case got some students into serious trouble, the practice of Gono reduced.
Amina is a lady who was apprehended and given Gono at Okpo (Sarbah Annex B) for stealing. She was stripped naked by some of the boys there who also fondled with her private parts amid her crying and wailing. A video recording of the whole incident went viral on social media and it caught the attention of concerned authorities and human rights activists. The case was sent to court and a number of students who were involved in that Gono got into serious trouble.
Since then, Gono reduced on campus and thieves who were apprehended were sent straight to the authorities. It’s been four years now though and the last batch of students who were on campus during the Amina case graduated last year. The practice can therefore be seen returning gradually as these days thieves who are apprehended on campus are given a little taste of Gono before they are sent to the authorities.