November 24, 2020

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Kidnapping, killing of 4 T’adi girls: Investigators did not incriminate accused -Witness

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Detective Chief Inspector Dorcas Asare, prosecution witness, refuted claims by counsel that police investigators incriminated Samuel Udoetuk Wills, first accused, in the case in which four Takoradi girls were kidnapped and killed, in December 2018.

Chief Insp Asare, said that the investigators did a thorough job, to prove that Wills and John Ojo, second accused, kidnapped the girls.

The prosecution witness told the Sekondi High Court, presided by Justice Richard Adjei Frempong, that Facebook chats and catalogue of phone calls revealed that Wills knew the girls and plotted their kidnapping.

Chief Insp Asare’s reaction followed suggestions by counsel for Wills, George Essiful-Ansah, that “you never looked elsewhere and focused on first accused to incriminate him. What about the other calls?”

Counsel also disagreed with the description of Wills’ house at Kansaworodo, near Takoradi, as a hideout.

But, Justice Adjei-Frempong overruled counsel’s submission, and argued that it was not possible for police investigators to probe all phone calls to Wills and narrow down to those connected with the four missing girls.

He said  :”It’s a whole bulk of documents and the investigators narrowed down to frequency and sequence of calls that is the essence of investigations. You can’t look at every itemised bill, if we do that, we’ll be at large. Let’s be practical and fair to the witness. This is a jury trial, let’ not confuse the jurors with too much material details, else they will get confused.”

Justice Adjei-Frempong told Mr Essiful-Ansah not to force prosecution witness to admit what another witness had said in court.

Chief Insp Asare told the court that analysed correspondence between the two accused showed that they used codes, including RTP, which were defied by Nigerian crime expert, to mean sacrifice and blood.

She said accused admitted the use of the codes, and refuted counsel’s submission that Wills lost the Tigo number.

Chief Insp Asare narrated that, on August 29, 2018, a sister of Priscilla Bentum, called Emelia Limo, a fiancé of first accused, at Okorase in the Eastern Region, and told her that the victim had been kidnapped.

Prosecution witness mentioned that evidence, including video clips, proved that on August 17, 2018, Wills used an MTN number to call Priscilla Bentum.

Chief Insp Asare said that Oji claimed that when he returned from Nigeria in December, 2018, he did not like the environment at Wills’ house and confirmed that the three girls had been kidnapped.

Prosecution witness said that complaints from the father of Priscilla suggested   Wills lured and kidnapped victim at Butumajebu junction, near Nkroful  in Takoradi, with the promise to secure her a job.

Priscilla, Chief Insp Asare recalled, called the father, and told him “in low tone voice that she can’t talk and doesn’t know where she was and that a car sent her to where she was.”

Chief Insp Asare said that Wills, who in his statement on June 7, 2019, denied the act, later admitted it.

The prosecution, led by the Chief State Attorney, Patience Klinogo, recalled that between July and December 2018, the accused were involved in the kidnapping of four girls, at different locations in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis.

 They victims were Priscilla Blessing Bentum, 21, at Kansaworodo, Ruth Love Quayson, 18, Priscilla Mantebea, 15, and Ruth Abeka, 18.

The accused, who demanded ransoms from the victims’ parents, were later arrested in 2019, to assist the police in investigations.

FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, SEKONDI

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