The Duayaw Nkwanta circuit court in the Tano North District of the Brong-Ahafo Region has sentenced a popular fetish priest – who feigned a woman and stole a five-month-old baby girl – to 13 years’ imprisonment.
Okomfo ‘Abena,’ actually known as Kwabena Barnie, 28, succeeded in deceiving the residents and health officials of Derma, near Bechem, by claiming to be a female fetish priestess.
It is not the first time as he had committed a similar crime at the Sefwi area of the Western Region before.
DAILY GUIDE learnt that some vigilant residents recently suspected that he might not be the original mother of the five-month-old baby girl. A report was therefore lodged with the police and was arrested. A female police officer was reportedly asked to examine ‘her’ when it was revealed that he was a man.
The fake fetish priest, who was charged with three counts: defrauding by false pretence, deceit of public officer and child stealing, pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The court, presided over by Alexander Graham, on Wednesday found him guilty of two counts – deceit of public officer by falsely presenting himself to nurses as a pregnant woman, and also stealing a child – and subsequently sentenced him to 13 years’ imprisonment – three years for count one and ten years for count two.
The stolen child has since been given to its rightful mother.
The prosecutor, Detective Chief Inspector John Tandoh, revealed that the accused person stole the child from a nursing mother at Agogo Praso in the Ashanti Region.
According to him, the mother of the child told the police that the fetish priest once stormed their village and told her that he needed to exorcise some evil spirits tormenting her to prevent an imminent death of her and her child.
She said the fetish priest convinced her to move with the child to a place in Kumasi, where he prepared some concoction for her and the child to drink and kept her child in a different room.
The woman said the following morning, the fetish priest came to inform her that the gods had come for the child and that she was dead; and refused to allow the mother see the body.
He was later arrested for deceiving the public and baby theft.
FROM Fred Tettey Alarti-Amoako, Sunyani
Email: [email protected]
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