Tabloid News of Thursday, 28 March 2002
Rape Victim's Mother Jailed
It was all drama at Asamankese Circuit Court in the Eastern Region, when the court's chairman Mr. S. S. Appiah on February 11, 2002, defied a medical report of a rape victim and sentenced the victim's mother to three days imprisonment for what he called contempt of court.
Almost everybody in court that fateful day left the court premises accusing Judge Appiah of that single act which they saw as a strange travesty of justice and abuse of the rights of the young woman who went to court for justice after her daughter had been defied.
Appiah refused to speak or see Chronicle when we called on him at Asamankese to react to the concern of the public last Friday, March 15, shortly after work.
He refused to speak to the Chronicle and rather asked his registrar to look for the procedure of the case for this reporter, but search as the registrar did he could not trace the file on the case.
During the Christmas holidays, Madam Akosua requested her six-year-old great grand-daughter (name withheld) to spend the festivity and the holidays with her at Asuboi near Suhum in the Eastern Region.
Shortly after the Christmas, the mother of the young girl, Adwoa Kyerewaa, received a message from the village that her daughter was sick.
She did not waste time but rushed to the village where she met her daughter in a very serious condition, Chronicle learnt.
Kyerewaa did not waste time in bringing her daughter down to Accra for medical attention.
In the course of the treatment, the young mother realised that there was something wrong with her daughter's private parts.
She, therefore, became alarmed and confused, not knowing exactly what to do.
She, therefore, rushed the young girl to hospital for medical examination. It was detected and later confirmed by the medical report that the kid had been defiled.
After this revelation when the young girl was asked he mentioned a certain Brother Ebo of Asuboi.
Chronicle learnt that the police who were shocked by certain developments and revelations by the young girl, in attempt to ascertain the authenticity of what they heard from the girl, paraded a number of young men at Asuboi to see if the girl could identify the culprit when they went to arrest Ebo.
The girl had told the police that Ebo under the pretext of sending her to church rather took her to his room and put her on his bed and inserted his rod in her private parts.
When the small girl was asked to single out the man who is said to have defiled her among a host of men paraded, she walked to Ebo and fished him out among the lot.
After the identification parade and preliminary investigations, the police formally prepared a docket and charged him for the offence.
This was after a medical report submitted to the police had indicated that the kid was defiled. When the case was finally called up in court the judge adjourned the case to February11, and asked Kyerewaa to go for a new medical report.
On February 11, when the case was called Appiah shocked even the prosecutors when he rejected the medical report and asked the police to escort the victim's mother Kyerewaa to about 100 meters away from the courtroom to enable him ask the small girl a few questions.
Appiah reportedly told the court that he was going to depend on verbal answers to the questions he was going to ask the young girl to rule on the case.
The judge ordered Kyerewaa to walk out of his court room.
The young mother did not challenge Appiah as she did not have the authority to challenge the learned judge.
As she walked out of the courtroom in complete disbelief Appiah asked that the kid be put in the docket for him to ask her the question.
Appiah fired his question: "Ehyee mu anaase enhyemu?"
He reportedly asked the young girl. After he had finished asking his strange question he asked the girl to walk in the courtroom for him (Appiah) to assess if the girl was indeed defiled.
When all was over, the Judge freed Ebo, saying there was nothing to show that the girl was defiled and also when he asked the girl she responded that "enhyee mu."
When he announced his decision the family of Ebo and the girl's grandmother openly started celebrating in the courtroom as they poured powder on Ebo.
As the jubilations raged on Kyerewaa, drew closer to see what was happening in the court room.
Chronicle gathered that when Kyerewaa came on the scene and asked what was going on, and her question was met with insults from some of the jubilant group.
The moment Kyerewaa responded totheir insult in kind, Judge Appiah asked the police to arrest her for what he called contempt of court.
Appiah ordered the police to imprison Kyerewaa for three days and bring her back to court to determine her fate on the third day.
On February 13, Kyerewaa was sent back to court where Appiah asked the poor woman to go home and comport herself well whenever she appears before him because he has power to change her fate.