Pastor burns boy to exorcise him

A 41-year-old pastor of the Holy Church of Ghana in Mankessim in the Central Region, who used heated stones to burn the body of a nine-year-old boy under the pretext of exorcising him of a demonic spirit, has appeared before the Cape Coast Circuit Court charged with causing unlawful harm.

The accused, Kojo Affram, alias Osofo Kojo Abraham, is in the dock with his apprentice, Yaw Nkansah. They pleaded guilty with explanation.

The court, presided over by Ms Eva Bannerman Williams, however, deferred sentence to May 28, 2014. Facts of case

Briefing the court, Chief Inspector Christiana Sampoma said the complainant, Stephen Nyame, lives with his son, Kweku Nyame, the victim, in Mankessim.

She said Osofo Abraham and Nkansah live in the same vicinity with the complainant.

According to Chief Inspector Sampoma, about three months ago, Kweku 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.

 She said fortunately enough for Mr Nyame, his son returned home that very day and Osofo Abraham, who happened to visit his friend at that time, saw Kweku Nyame.

She said Osofo Abraham ordered Mr Nyame to send his son to his (Osofo Abraham’s) prayer camp for spiritual deliverance because he believed Kweku Nyame was possessed by a demonic spirit.

She said out of fear of losing his son, Mr Nyame sent his son to Osofo Abraham to cleanse him of the demonic spirit.

Chief Inspector Sampoma said Osofo Abraham kept Kweku Nyame at his prayer camp, where the boy was taken through a series of spiritual deliverance to deal critically with the demonic spirit.

She said Mr Nyame visited the camp one day to see his son with three big hot stones placed in front of him and covered with a mat and cloth, while the boy was firmly held on the ground.

She told the court that that very act of using hot stones to cast the demonic spirit out had been done twice on the victim already and on both occasions the boy had screamed for help before he was allowed to come out with burns all over his body because of the heat from the stones.

She said Kweku Nyame was consequently kept in the prayer camp to undergo herbal treatment for the burns.

Chief Inspector Sampoma said Kweku Nyame could no longer walk properly as a result of the burns.

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 Nkansah. Explanation

In his explanation, Osofo Abraham told the court that the complainant 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 had started crawling just a month after he was born and that, he (the father) believed, was not normal.

Osofo Abraham said he travelled and was called that Kweku Nyame was sick and so he directed his apprentice to use the heated stones and herbs to treat the boy.

He said it was not his first time of using that method, pointing out that the victim had told him that the burns were as a result of his spiritual team members who found him to be stubborn for allowing a pastor to cast out the demonic spirit from him.

He said the burns were as a result of hot water poured on him by his spiritual team members.

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