08.10.2006 Crime & Punishment


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Four people including a sub-chief are helping the police in their investigation into the alleged disappearance of a traditional god of the people of Asiri near Sampa in the Jaman North District of Brong Ahafo Region.

The god, Patriapa, said to be the spiritual protector of the people of Asiri was alleged to contain gold ornaments valued at ¢1 billion.

Nana Ampofo Ababio II, the sub-chief, Augustine Mforojo, Ibrahim Bashiru also known as Brimah Kramo and Pius Cudjoe, known as Tabiri, after allegedly stealing the god from the shrine, succeeded in moulding its replica and replaced it.

But the theft was detected by the fetish priest who informed the chief of the traditional area, Nana (Dr) Adinkra, and the elders of the town.

The chief and his people conducted investigation into the theft and suspected Nana Ababio and Mforojo, a sub-chief and secretary to the shrine respectively, and questioned them. They were said to have admitted the crime and mentioned the names of Bashiru and Cudjoe as their accomplice.

Cudjoe, on hearing his name mentioned fled the town and sought refuge at the Sampa Police Station for fear of his life.

The police took him to Asiri to ascertain the truth or otherwise of his story and their arrival saved the other suspects who were already in the custody of the chief and his elders.

They were, therefore, handed over to the police who after investigation charged them and put them before the Berekum Circuit Court.

Nana Ababio and Mforojo faced conspiracy to steal and stealing charges while Bashiru and Cudjoe were also charged with abetment of crime.

They pleaded not guilty to the charges and the court, presided over by Mr. Justice Paul Kwase Richardson granted them bail in the sum of ¢50 million with two sureties each to Nana Ababio, Mforojo and Bashiru but remanded Cudjoe into prison custody for a week on their first appearance at the court on August 14, 2006.

He was granted bail of ¢50 million with a surety on his second appearance to appear again on October 16, for hearing.

Prosecuting, Police Chief Inspector C. Darkora, told the court that the four suspects lived at Asiri with Bashiru being a spiritualist. The prosecutor alleged that somewhere in July this year, Cudjoe approached Bashiru that he had received instructions from Nana Ababio to solicit spiritual assistance to enable them to steal the gods.

Bashiru, in turn, was said to have contacted a colleague said to have a concoction that could render any powerful god impotent.

Bashiru demanded from Cudjoe ¢400,000 for the concoction but he could only pay ¢50,000 with the promise to settle the rest later.

Cudjoe was then said to have given the concoction to Nana Ababio who handed it over to the secretary of the shrine, Mforojo as he had easy access to the place.

He was said to have sprinkled the concoction on Patripa and it was removed.

According to the prosecutor, Nana Ababio asked Mforojo to mould a replica to replace Patripa. He said Mforojo also demanded ¢50,000 from Nana Ababio before moulding the replica.

A formal complaint was made to the police by the chief of the town after their own investigation brought out the suspects.

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