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Regional News of Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Source: starrfmonline.com

Soldier accused of raping 16-year-old girl remanded


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A District Court in Tamale in the Northern Region has remanded into prison custody a military officer, Hagan Paa Kwasi, who allegedly sexually assaulted a 16-year old daughter of a farmer at Bimbila in November last year.

The officer; with the Six Battalion Unit, was remanded on Tuesday, January 29, following a directive from the state prosecutor’s office which studied docket of the case sent by police investigators.

He is to reappear on February 12, 2019, after he would have been served by bail of indictment and summary of evidence currently being prepared by the Attorney General department in the region.

This process is to empower the regional state prosecutor to move the case from District Court’s jurisdiction to High Court for a trial by a judge and jury.

The officer appeared in court in the company of about three others who were all in uniform, including a superior officer, and the proceeding lasted briefly without arguments.

He was fully represented by a lawyer appearing dour but calm as he stood before the judge.

He was quickly whisked away to the regional police headquarters immediately the judge for procedures for his detentions. If convicted he could face up to 25yrs in jail and dismissal from service.

The soldier was part of a peacekeeping force sent from the Kamina Barracks in the regional city to the Nanumba North District Capital, where there was renewed violence between chieftaincy factions.

He was accused in November last year of raping the teenager for more than five (5) minutes at the time she and her colleagues were having a night preps at her school, Tonaa Junior High School.

Paa Kwasi who was supervising a curfew in the township veered into the school and dragged the victim to a nearby school, Jilo Junior High School, and sexually abused her as she groaned in resistance.

The victim suffered abdominal pains and was treated at the Bimbila Government hospital. She reported the incident to her mother who then told her husband.

The military top command in the region recalled the solider and detained him before sending investigators to the crime scenes. It is not clear whether the soldier was suspended and without pay.

The Regional Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) took over Investigations after the Municipal Police was forced by community leaders and the press to open a probe.

The father of the girl, Afa Gariba, a peasant farmer and laborer at the residence of the Municipal Police Commander, continues to plead for justice to be served.

According to him, the only way to vindicate her stigmatized daughter, who is being accused and mocked by her colleagues at school and home, is for the soldier to be taken to court for due process.

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