Ghana: Three Families of Takoradi Kidnapped Girls Reject Police DNA Report

18 September 2019

Diabene — Three out of the four families of the Takoradi kidnapped girls have rejected the Police DNA report which confirmed the death of their daughters.

The three include the Quayson, Bentum and the Abaka families.

However, the family of Priscilla Mantebea Kuranchie, another victim, have accepted the outcome of the DNA report and initiated plans for a family gathering to decide the next line of action.

Addressing a joint press conference yesterday at Diabene in Takoradi on behalf of the three families, spokesperson for the families, Michael Hayford Grant, said, the families would apply for independent tests on the remains to enable them arrive at some definite conclusions on the matter.

They expressed their disappointed about the manner the police communicated the report of the DNA tests to them, at the same time, on Monday evening, when the story was already circulated in the media.

He explained that the police failed to make the process transparent and involving and that "no report was shown to us apart from a verbal communication from the police", stating that "there was no agreement with the police prior to the test".

"We will never believe what the police came to tell us. There is no truth in it. What shows that whatever they said was true?" Mr Grant quizzed.

Comfort Arhin, mother of one of the victims, Ruth Love Quayson, indicated that the police did not respect the family members, "else they would not have come to their house at 7:30pm to inform us that our daughters were dead."

She recalled earlier assurances by the Director-General of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), COP Maame Yaa Tiwaah Addo-Danquah that the girls were alive and government would pay the ransom being demanded by the kidnapper.

"At about 9pm, on March 13, 2019, while I was returning from church, the CID boss called to tell me that the kidnappers were demanding some huge amount of money and that the state will pay to get the girls back. So why the police should turn round to say the girls are dead," she asked.

Ebenezer Cobbinah, who is the grandfather of Ruth Abaka, reported that, the girl was kidnapped on July 29, 2018 and reported the case to the police on the same day but they did nothing about it, until the bones were exhumed.

He denied statement by the Acting IGP that the families were informed before the press conference saying "no policeman visited our houses to tell us anything."

Francis Bentum, father of Priscilla Blessing Bentum, also argued that the timing of the release of the police report on the DNA was wrong.

"You can imagine someone coming to inform you at about 7:30pm that your child is dead, you will not sleep the whole night and that was what happened to me and my wife on Monday."

In a connected development, it was revealed that President Nana Akufo-Addo personally phoned the four family members to console them following the report from the police administration.

Meanwhile, it was all anger, grief and sympathy for the family following Monday's announcement by the police confirming the murder of the four kidnapped girls.

In an interview with a cross section of Ghanaians in Accra yesterday, some demanded the resignation of COP Addo-Danquah and Ministers of Interior and National Security, Ambrose Dery and Albert Kan-Dapaah.

A staff of a multinational company, Evans Kovey said, "I already do not trust the police, but this certainly has blown me away, I was hoping the police will be able to bring the girls home".

"They must be dismissed by the President or forced to resign their positions. The police operation to find the Takoradi girls was not properly handled and it is a dent on their reputation," Butsorme Abana, a teacher added.

On social media several others poured out their disappointment by questioning the response of the police in finding the girls who were reportedly kidnapped last year.

In furtherance of their calls for resignation, they used the hash tag #TiwaaMustGo on Twitter and Facebook to push for urgent removal of the CID Director- General.

Others also faulted President Nana Akufo-Addo for failing to meet the affected families earlier this year when he toured the Western Region.

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