End Modern Slavery of Engage Now Africa (ENA) has helped to secure justice for a 12-year-old girl who was allegedly defiled by an Imam at Mameng, a village at Kwahyia in the Eastern Region.
Mr. Afasi Komla, Director of Operations at Engage Now Africa who is also the leader of End Modern Slavery (EMS) team disclosed to the media that, on March 10th, 2021, Suhum Circuit Court presided over by her ladyship, Justice Effia Addison sentenced the Imam named Ishmaila Salam to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour due to efforts made by his team to make sure justice is served for the victim.
According to Mr Afasi Komla, the complaint Kwame Abu, father of the victim accused the Imam who is a Nigerian and an Islamic preacher and a teacher at Masjid Ali Dawood Abu Zahriya in Kwahyia, a village near Suhum that somewhere in 2020, his daughter started attending Arabic studies at the said mosque.
Along the line, the mother of the victim saw some ungodly play between the victim and the accused person.
The victim’s mother warned the accused person to cease playing with the victim.
Early this year, the mother of the victim saw some changes in the victim and also observed that the victim had been sleeping often.
Mr. Afasi added that, on March 2, 2021, the complaint interviewed the victim, and she revealed to him that, the accused person had been having sexual intercourse with her in the said mosque after their studies.
On March 3, 2021, the victim led the complaint and the mother to the accused resident at Mameng. The victim narrated how the accused used to have sexual intercourse with her in the mosque which the accused person has admitted and pleaded for leniency.
Mr. Afasi Komla stated that after the truth of the case had been established, some leaders of the mosque and family members decided to resolve the case between both parties, until the complaint acted on a news report he heard about End Modern Slavery (EMS) team of Engage Now Africa (ENA) activities on Daddy’s radio station.
He, the complaint, went to the radio station to enquire about the said organization and after being furnished with the contact of the firm, called to report the case and sought for assistance because he was not happy with how the case was being handled at home.
Mr. Afasi further disclosed to the media that, End Modern Slavery (EMS) team assisted in reporting the case to the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) Police Command in Suhum, which led to the arrest of the accused person.
He stressed that after medical confirmation from a doctor, the accused was charged and put before court leading to his 10-year prison sentence.
Mr. Afasi said that upon their own investigations, it was established that, the accused did not only defile the victim sexually but was using her including other minors for labour activities in building the mosque.
He said in meeting the Islam community after the arrest that their action is not an attack on religion but to safeguard the youth of the country.
He advised community leaders, family heads among other people that they should not shroud issues of Child Labour because it perpetuates all other forms of child abuse and that Child Labour is a crime everywhere in the world including Ghana and people should desist from such practice.