A pastor and his assistant who used heated stones to burn the body of a nine-year-old boy at Mankessim in the Central Region under the pretext of exorcising a demonic spirit out of him have been sentenced to a 15-year jail term each with hard labour.
The pastor, Kojo Affram, alias Osofo Kojo Abraham, 41, and his assistant, Yaw Nkansa, 28, both of the Holy Church of Ghana, pleaded guilty with explanation.
Prior to the sentencing, they had pleaded with the court to have mercy on them.
The Cape Coast Circuit Court, presided over by Ms Eva Bannerman-Williams, ordered the convicts to also pay the medical bills that would come from the plastic surgery that the boy would have to undergo.
Delivering her sentence, Ms Bannerman-Williams said, ‘Looking at what you have caused to this boy, I think he is emotionally and psychologically traumatised. I am, therefore, appealing to individuals and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working for the good of children to come to the aid of this boy and offer him help in the restoration of the deformity meted against him.’
Osofo Abraham burst into uncontrollable tears after the judgement, saying, ‘I will die in prison within one year.’
Facts of case
The prosecutor, Inspector Christiana Sampong, said the victim’s father, Stephen Nyame, lived in the same vicinity as the convicts at Mankessim.
About three months ago, the victim left home unceremoniously and could not be found for two days.
She said knowing Osofo Abraham as a friend and prophet of God, Mr Nyame approached him and asked for prayers for the return of his son.
Fortunately for Mr Nyame, his son returned home that very day when Osofo Abraham happened to be visiting his friend.
She said Osofo Abraham ordered Mr Nyame to send the boy to his (Osofo Abraham’s) prayer camp for spiritual deliverance because he believed the victim was possessed by a demonic spirit.
Out of fear of losing his son, the prosecutor said, Mr Nyame sent his son to Osofo Abraham to cleanse him of the demonic spirit.
Inspector Sampong said Osofo Abraham kept the boy at his prayer camp and when Mr Nyame visited the camp one day to see his son, he saw him firmly held onto three big heated stones on the ground and covered with a mat and a cloth.
She told the court that the boy had already gone through that ordeal twice and on both occasions he had screamed for help before he was freed, after suffering burns all over his body.
She said realising the deformity caused to his son, Mr Nyame lodged a complaint at the police station, leading to the arrest of Osofo Abraham and Nkansa.
In his explanation, Osofo Abraham told the court that Mr Nyame had approached him to cast out a spirit which he (Mr Nyame) believed had been tormenting his son.
He said Mr Nyame had told him that the boy started crawling just a month after he was born and that the father believed was not normal.
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