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26.07.2006 Social News

11-Year-Old Girl Rescued From Captivity

By CITY NEWS
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Esi Samlatoh, the 11-year-old girl who was reportedly exchanged for money by her uncle has been rescued by the Atebubu District Police.

The "Ghanaian Times" of July 25, 2006, reported that in 2003, an 11-year-old girl was asked by her uncle to go and live with an Atebubu-based businessman in the Atebubu District; little did she know that she was being used as collateral for a loan of 5.5 million cedis contracted by the uncle, Thomas Sanka.

The girl had to stop school and for the past three years, has been in servitude in the house of the businessman, Papa Afagbedzi, who guaranteed the loan for Sanka.

Esi Samlatoh's ordeal came to light when her father, Robertson Somlator, in the Volta Region, requested his younger brother, Sanka to bring the girl home to continue with her education.

The release of the girl came after persistent attempts proved futile because Afagbedzi insisted that the money be paid before released.

Apart from selling cooked rice and other items at the E.P. School at Yeji, the girl is also allegedly being abused sexually by Afegbedzi.

When news of her situation got to the Atebubu-Amantin District Office of the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) on July 7, efforts were made to free the girl, but they proved futile as Afagbedzi insists that the money should be paid before she can be released.

The District Director, Samuel Nyamekye Vasco, confirming this, said: "I had a chat with the girl who said Afagbedzi had sex with her on many occasions".

According to Mr Vasco, the girl's ordeal came to light when her father, Robertson Somlator, who is in the Volta Region, requested his younger brother, Sanka, to bring the girl home to continue with her education.

Mr Vasco said that when Sanka went to Afagbedzi for the girl, following her father's request, Afagbedzi insisted that until the money was paid to the owner the girl would not be released.

"Someone heard of the girl's plight and hinted us and we have taken the matter up", Mr Vasco explained.

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