Samuel Ohemeng Oppong, a 37-year-old civil servant has been dragged to an Accra court, together with three others for marrying another woman when he is already legally married to Christiana Ohemeng, the complainant.
Mr. Ohemeng Oppong has been charged together with second accused person Beatrice Acheampong, 30, a teacher at Nkroful; third accused William Effah Oppong, 83 and father of the first accused person; as well as Rev. Francis Ahenakwa, 49, general overseer of the Anchor of Hope Ministry at Koforidua.
The four accused persons, who appeared before an Accra Circuit Court presided over by Mrs. Abena Oppong Adjin-Doku and charged with bigamy and aiding and abetting, denied any wrongdoing and the case was adjourned to February 9, 2016.
The facts of the case as presented by the prosecuting officer, Detective Inspective Kofi Atimbire, are that the first accused person is married to the complainant under the married ordinance and the couple is blessed with two children.
Inspector Atimbire explains that the first child of the couple had an eye problem and the couple, in their search for remedy to their son’s eye problem went to Bompata, the couple’s hometown. During their stay in Bompata, Mr. Samuel Ohemeng Oppong, the first accused had a misunderstanding with the complainant’s mother and the two exchanged words.
According to the prosecuting officer, the first accused person, among other things, told his mother-in-law that she was a witch and was responsible for the child’s predicament, to which the mother-in-law replied that the child’s condition was a family trait of her son-in-law.
Inspector Atimire added that the complainant at this point could not take sides but later apologised to her husband for the unfortunate situation but the husband refused to accept the apology.
The prosecutor said when the couple left for Accra that same month, the first accused person ejected the complainant from their matrimonial home. The complainant after numerous failed attempts to enter the house to see their children reported the issue to the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service on August 11, 2015.
Inspector Atimire explained further that first and third accused persons, together with others who are at large, liaised with the family of the second accused person to perform a customary marriage rite on the second accused person at Lashibi, in Tema.
He added that the police had a tip off and traced the house belonging to the second accused person’s uncle in Lashibi and witnessed the marriage ceremony, which was officiated by the forth accused person who was the same pastor that witnessed the marriage between the first accused person and the complainant.
He said the accused persons were subsequently invited by DOVVSU and further investigations revealed that the second accused was aware of the first accused person’s status as a legally married man. The first and second accused persons, who are currently living together in the complainant’s matrimonial home, were arrested together with the third and forth accused persons and charged with the offence.
By: Elikem Kwaku Ahialey