Little Joel Denyoh
An Accra Circuit Court yesterday issued a bench warrant for the arrest of a couple accused of stealing a three-month-old baby.
The right for the custody of the baby boy is now a subject of litigation as the couple also initiate an action to have the baby stay with them.
The couple, Samuel Denyoh Yao, a Radiation Therapist at the Cancer Department of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and his wife, Elizabeth Esi Denyoh, lecturer, are said to have allegedly stolen the baby from the biological mother, Rashida Abdallah.
However, when the case was called for hearing in the court presided over by Sedina Agbemeva, the couple did not show up for the proceedings, compelling the trial judge to issue the bench warrant for their arrest and accordingly adjourning hearing to Tuesday June 24. Their pleas were not taken.
The prosecutor, ASP Sarah Acquah, told the court that the complainant in the case is one Rashida Abdallah, unemployed, while the accused persons are residents of New Weija, a suburb of Accra.
Rashida Abdallah Esi Denyoh
She said the complainant lived with the couple as a house help for the past three years and that sometime in July 2013, the complainant became pregnant and mentioned one Kwame as the person responsible, adding that on March 6, 2014, Rashida gave birth at the Ga South Municipal Hospital and was discharged.
ASP Acquah averred that the couple refused Rashida access to her baby and subsequently refused exclusive breastfeeding of the baby by the biological mother with the reason that a medical doctor, one Dr. Kusi Kum at the Ga South Municipal Hospital, had directed that the complainant should not get close to the baby or would infect the baby with rashes.
The prosecutor further told the court that on May 3, 2014, the couple asked the complainant to go to her mother without giving her the baby; with another reason that she had become disrespectful.
ASP Acquah insisted that all efforts by Rashida and her family to collect the baby proved futile and so a complaint was lodged with the New Weija Police Station.
The prosecutor further stated that the couple were invited by the police on three occasions but they refused to report until they were arrested on June 11, at their residence and the baby released to the mother the same day.
According to the prosecutor, the couple denied the offence.
Rashida’s family with the baby
Confirming the incident to DAILY GUIDE in an interview on Monday, the 29-year-old nursing mother, who stormed the offices of the paper together with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Simons Pobee, claimed that when Mrs. Denyoh, who is also the President of the Diabetes Association of Ghana, ‘discovered that I was pregnant, they tortured me severally until I gave birth to a bouncing baby boy.’
According to her, the said Kwame denied responsibility of the pregnancy and so she decided to keep the baby until she delivered and the couple then named the child Joel Fafa Denyoh.
‘All efforts to get back my baby proved futile. I have visited the house several times with the intent to take my baby but anytime I get there, they sack me and deny me entry into the house,’ the lady said.
The visibly depressed mother added, ‘The last time I visited the house; the couple placed a security at the gate and refused me entry to see my own childthey kept the child from me for more than two months until I decided to report the matter to the police.’
When DAILY GUIDE contacted the Weija District Crime Officer, ASP Alex Kwarteng, he confirmed that the matter was reported to the station by Rashida and that the police were still investigating it.
He however declined to give any further details.
Rashida Abdallah told the paper the couple were trying to use their connections in the government to intimidate her from getting back her only son. She alleged that in May this year, after the matter had been reported to the police, she received a call from the Flagstaff House ordering her and her parents to see Madam Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe Ghansah , Minister of State and Member of Parliament for Ada, immediately.
At the said meeting, the nursing mother said, Madam Ghansah allegedly asked them to allow Dr. and Mrs. Denyoh take custody of the child but they refused.
The Minister has since denied the allegation and her involvement in the case.
Denyoh Fights Back
Meanwhile, Mrs. Denyoh is reported to have sued Rashida at the Juvenile Court over the child.
According to the writ of summons issued by her lawyers, she is praying the court to grant custody of the three-month-old baby to her since she claimed the mother was not in a good condition to cater for the child.
By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson & Linda Tenyah
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