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14.04.2008 General News

Parents left son accused of witchcraft to die


The Takoradi Police have arrested a couple for negligently causing the death of their nine-year-old son.

The couple, Kwaku Badu, 35, a fisherman, and Elizabeth Coomson, also 35, were said to have kept their son indoors on the orders of a spiritualist who said the boy was possessed by witchcraft.

The police arrested the couple while they were preparing to bury their son.

The spiritualist, Madam Theresa Arthur, popularly known as Maame Osofo of the 12 Apostles Church at Inchaban, was alleged to have declared that the boy was possessed by witchcraft and ordered that he should be kept in a room until he died.

The couple, accordingly, complied with the order, leading to the death of the boy at 3.00 p.m. last Wednesday.

The Unit Commander of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit of the Ghana Police Service, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Cecilia Arko, confirmed the incident to the Daily Graphic.

She said someone called to inform the police that Badu and his wife had kept their sick son in a room to die, on the orders of a spiritualist.

She said a police rescue team was dispatched to the residence of the couple but, unfortunately, when the team got there, the boy had died and the body was being prepared by the couple for burial.

ASP Arko said the body was then taken to the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital for autopsy, while the two were detained to assist in investigations.

Madam Coomson told the Daily Graphic that for some time the boy always complained of excessive heat and ate abnormally, resulting in his body getting swollen.

She said she and the husband decided to send the boy to the 12 Apostles Church where they were told by the spiritualist that their son was possessed by witchcraft, adding that the boy allegedly confessed to being possessed through toys and 5Gp worth of groundnuts which were given to him by a friend at school.

According to her, the couple bought the toys and the groundnuts, as directed by Maame Osofo, to perform some rituals in the school.

She said Maame Osofo asked the boy to stay with her for a while until the witchcraft had completely been exorcised, but after staying at the prayer camp for about one month, she asked them to go for their son and keep him at home because he was going to die.

She said they did not take the boy to the hospital because he had confessed to being a wizard and that he wanted to die because he did not have anyone to present to his cult members for a party.

Madam Coomson said they, therefore, kept him in the room until he died last Wednesday.

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