20 December 2012

Ghana: Two Brothers Lynch 75-Year-Old Woman

Bolgatanga — Two brothers, Nwohinyen Felix, 22, and Nwohinyen Dok, 19, have been remanded into police custody for allegedly lynching a 75-year-old woman they accused of bewitching their grandmother and mother.

The two appeared before Vivia Yamush of the Bolgatanga Magistrate Court, where they were remanded into police custody, and are to reappear on January 3, 2013.

The police in Bolgatanga said the two brothers were charged with conspiracy to commit crime, to wit, murder, contrary to Section 23 (1) and 46 of the Criminal Offense Act of Ghana.

The police said the suspects were reported to have lynched Madam Ampoma Yamgot at her residence at Zanlerigu in the Nabdam district on December 12, 2012, after one of their relatives, whose name was given only as Abena, complained to them that the deceased woman called her while she was going to the market that fateful morning.

The accused brothers told the police that they were provoked, when on December 12 their relative Abena came home from the market to inform them about the old woman's call.

Even though Abena refused to attend to the deceased's call, the brothers went to where the deceased lives at Zanlerigu near Pelungu in the Nabdam district, and lynched her.

According to the police, the two brothers had been accusing the deceased of bewitching their grandmother and mother. The two narrated that after the death of their grandmother, people accused the old lady, calling her a witch, but they (the brothers) did not take it serious.

They, however, claimed that recently, their mother died mysteriously after she was involved in a heated squabble with the deceased over a head scarf. They said they then started suspecting that the allegation that the woman was a witch was true.

In an interview with ASP Godorn Letso, Bolgatanga Municipal Crime Officer, he confirmed the crime, and said the body of the deceased had since been deposited at the Upper East Regional Hospital Mortuary for autopsy.

He condemned the action of the two brothers, and said if people believed in the existence of witchcraft, they should find better ways of addressing it, and not resort to unlawfully taking the lives of their suspects.

He added that lynching was a criminal offence in Ghana, which, when committed, the perpetrators would be dealt with by the law.

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