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Regional News of Thursday, 31 July 2003

Source: GNA

Police investigates assault on Fetish Priest

Sunyani, July 31, GNA- The Brong Ahafo Police is investigating a case in which the youth of Nkaseim in the Asutifi District of Brong Ahafo is said to have assaulted Mr Seime Ahama, a 39-year-old fetish priest for allegedly spiritually, killing one Gambo Bashiru.

Inspector Christopher Tawiah, Regional Police Public Relation Officer (PRO) told the GNA in Sunyani on Thursday that the deceased who accused Ahama for chasing his girl friend, went to the shrine of the fetish priest and destroyed everything there.

He said the priest thereafter travelled to an unknown place and returned to hear that Bashiru was seriously sick.

Because the illness lasted for a long time and all attempts made to get him well proved futile, people suspected the fetish priest of being the cause, the police PRO said.

Inspector Tawiah said Bashiru and some people approached the priest for forgiveness and pleaded with him to get him cured.

He said the priest accepted the apology and demanded 400,000 cedis and a ram.

He said even though the priest collected the money and the items, Bashiru's condition grew worse and was rushed to Elizabeth Hospital at Hwidiem where he was pronounced dead on arrival. He said when information of Bashiru's death got to the town at about 8 pm the youth mobilized themselves and attacked the priest at his shrine.

They assaulted him with clubs and later set him ablaze with petrol but he managed to escape to the Chief's palace.

The Police PRO said the youth followed him to the palace and Nana Kwame Danquah, the Chief, who could not contain the situation reported to the Police at Goaso.

In their attempt to save the situation the Goaso Police were also attacked by the mob and had their service vehicle partly damaged. Inspector Tawiah said the mob again assaulted the police at the palace, got hold of the fetish priest, threw him out of the palace and set his body ablaze again and left him to his fate.

When he realized that there was nobody around, the fetish priest crawled out of the fire and fled to his uncle's village, with burns on his body.

Inspector Tawiah said the uncle for fear of being attacked by the mob asked the priest to hide in a maize farm so when a police reinforcement called from Sunyani arrived at the palace, the priest was no where to be found.

He said the uncle on hearing of the police reinforcement in the town sneaked and informed them of the where about of the priest. The police rushed to the maize farm and met the priest almost unconscious and rushed him to the Sunyani Government Hospital where he has since been on admission and responding to treatment. Inspector Tawiah said no arrests have so far been made.