You are here: HomeNews2004 02 26Article 52670

Regional News of Thursday, 26 February 2004

Source: GNA

Ritual murder trial of chief and 4 others adjourned.

Sekondi, Feb. 26 GNA- The trial of the chief of Sefwi Tumantu and four of his elders by a Sekondi high court for murder has been adjourned to March 10, 2004.

This is to enable the Police forensic laboratory in Accra, to verify the genuineness of one of the thumbprints of one of the suspects. The suspects are Nana Kwadwo Ahi also known as Kofi Sumena, chief, Okyeame kwadwo Nkuah, linguist, Kwasi Mintah, Yaw Pae and Yaw Mintah all farmers.

Defence lawyers for the suspects, led by Mr. Arkaah Gyasi told the court that there were two different thumbprints on the police enquiry statements and he would therefore not accept it in evidence, until the thumbprints were proved to be genuine.

Granting the requests, Mr. Justice Clemence J. Honyenugah, the presiding judge, directed officials of the court to send the statement to Accra for verification.

He said in the interest of fair play and justice, the statements should be verified before the case could be continued. The prosecution said on Feb. 9, this year, the court was told that that the victim, Felicia Gyeabour, lived with her husband, Emmanuel Nketsiah, a settler farmer at Nyame Bekyere near Tumantu. They lived with a relative called Atta Kwaku.

In January 2001, Okyeame Nkuah, Kwasi Mintah, Pae and Yaw Mintah allegedly told Atta Kwaku that they needed the blood of a pregnant woman for some rituals and requested his assistance to kill Felicia for the purpose.

Mr. Pobee said when Kwaku refused, the group threatened to kill him if he disclosed the matter to anyone. They promised him a large tract of land to enable him cultivate his own cocoa farm if he assisted them.

Kwaku out of fear, kept quiet over the issue the prosecutor said.

Two months later in March 2001, Nketsiah travelled to his hometown in the Brong Ahafo region, leaving his wife in the care of Kwaku.

The following day around 7am, Felicia also decided to travel to Kumasi and as Kwaku was taking her to the lorry park, Mintah, Pae and Yaw Mintah approached them and offered to go with Felicia to the station since they were heading towards that direction.

Two days later, the group gave some items to Kwaku, which they claimed was from Felicia in Kumasi.

According to the prosecutor, Nketsiah returned a week later and was informed by Kwaku that his wife had travelled to Kumasi. A search party was organized but Nana Ahi refused to mobilize his subjects to help in the exercise. A group from other communities found Felicia's body on Yaw Pae's farm.

Following the discovery, Kwaku reported the conversation he had had earlier with the accused persons to the police.