Crime & Punishment of Friday, 18 January 2013
Source: Daily Guide
The Abura-Dunkwa District Court, presided over by Efuwa Wirenkyi, on Thursday granted bail in the sum of GH¢2000 with one surety to a 20-year-old hairdresser, Mariama Mahamadu, who dumped her six-month-old baby boy by the riverside at Abura Abaka in the Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese (AAK) District of the Central Region sometime ago.
The accused carried out the act because she had been told the baby was a snake.
Mariama, who was charged with the offence of exposing a child to harm, pleaded guilty with explanation.
She is expected to re-appear on January 31, 2013.
The accused, who looked very sober in the court room, claimed she committed the act because of what a pastor and a fetish priest had both told her about the baby.
She told the court that the baby’s father left the house immediately the fetish priest confirmed that the child was a spirit, hence the need to get rid of the boy.
Prosecuting, Chief Inspector Daniel Oppong said the incident happened on July 18, 2012 around 8pm at Abura Abaka.
Chief Inspector Oppong stated that Mariama was alleged to have been informed by her pastor during a church service that her baby was a snake and would give her a lot of problems if she allowed him to grow up.
The prosecutor noted that the suspect informed her boyfriend who went with her to a fetish priest for a second opinion on the matter.
Prosecution said the fetish priest confirmed the pastor’s assertions and further advised them to get a bottle of schnapps, sugar cane, some bread and put it in a calico, dump the items and the baby by the riverside at night and the baby would turn into a snake.
Chief Inspector Oppong said the suspect, after performing the rituals, went to her uncle, Isaac Baah, and pleaded with him to give her some money to travel to her parents in Ivory Coast.
He added that it took the intervention of some Good Samaritans to bring the baby to his outfit, from where they sent him to the Light House Orphanage in Cape Coast.
Mr Baah and his wife, who were in court, pleaded with the magistrate to hand over the baby to them.
Madam Wirenkyi ordered the Social Welfare Officer in the area, David Kofi Ampong to take Isaac Baah and the wife to the orphanage to ascertain whether they really wanted to adopt the baby.
She noted that she would not want a situation where they would take the baby and lock him up in a room with an explanation that he was a snake.
“I want the baby to grow up as a human being since he has features of a human being. It is only that he has a deformity on the neck,” she added.