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General News of Sunday, 20 September 2020

Source: 3 News

Akua Denteh Lynching: Five more discharged

Five out of seven accused persons standing trial at the Bole Magistrate Court over the gruesome murder of 90-year-old Akua Denteh have been discharged by the Bole Magistrate Court.

They are Haruna Aness, 34, Issifa Tanko, 35, Shaibu Muntala, 29, Sulemana Ali, 35, and Issifa Zakyibo, 32.

Forty-year-old priestess Hajia Serena Mohammed and one Latifa Bumaye have since been committed to trial at the Tamale High Court.

Addressing the media after court proceedings on Friday, September 18, the Chief State Attorney at the Attorney General’s Department in charge of the Northern, Savannah and North East regions, Salia Abdul-Qusus, said the five accused persons were discharged on the basis of the court’s legal opinion.

They were, however, rearrested by the Damongo police.

The two – Hajia Serena Mohammed and Latifa Bumaye – will reappear before the Tamale High Court on October 13.

Murder

Madam Akua Denteh was lynched on Thursday, July 23 by a mob at Kafaba over witchcraft accusation.

In a video in circulation, the old woman was seen pleading with her assailants for mercy but they ignored her.

Two women, one holding an object believed to be a Qur’an while the other holding a whip, abused her till her untimely death.

While this was going on, a mob was standing looking on and shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’.

Her children reported the incident to the Salaga District Police Command, who went to Kafaba and picked the body of the deceased.

Arrest

A few days after the incident, the police administration placed a GH¢2,000 bounty on the heads of the perpetrators who were at large.

The Chief of the Kafaba community, Zakaria Yahaya, was the first to be picked up by police on Tuesday, July 28 to assist in investigations.

He was granted bail the next day after five suspects turned themselves in and were arrested.

The five suspects admitted having invited the priestess to Kafaba over issues of under-development.

Latifa Bumaye, who allegedly played a role in the murder of Akua Denteh, was later arrested.

On August 3, the prime suspect, Hajia Serena Mohammed, was arrested by the Yeji police at a hideout.

They were all arraigned before the Bole Magistrate Court.

Witchcraft accusations

Seventeen women from the Kafaba community were accused of witchcraft by the priestess who was invited to the community by a cross-section of the youth.

All of them were subjected to some levels of torture and abuse.

Sixteen of them, who admitted to being witches to save themselves from further abuse, were let go.

However, Akua Denteh refused to admit the accusations, hence her lynching.

Akua Denteh Foundation launched

The Savannah Regional Coordinating Council has since inaugurated the Akua Denteh Foundation.

The Foundation will be used to educate the people of the region on witchcraft accusations.

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