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06.12.2007 General News


By Daily Guide

A policeman stationed at Tuna in the Upper West Region, who allegedly raped a 32-year-old woman in police cells, has found himself in the grips of local authorities.

Constable Opoku Nketia was slapped with a fine of ¢3 million, in addition to two goats, two sheep and six fowls for 'defiling' a married woman.

The local chief, Tuna Naa Alhassan Seidu and elders of the town, who imposed the fine, were asking that he provide the money and items immediately.

“Late in the night, the place was very quiet when Constable Nketia came, opened the door to the cell and entered. I was the only person in the ladies' cell and he forcibly had sex with me.

Afterwards, he permitted me to have my bath,” the victim narrated.

When he was summoned before the chief and elders of Tuna, Constable Nketia was alleged to have admitted having carnal knowledge of the woman without her consent, and agreed to pay the said fine.

However, DAILY GUIDE learnt that he could not explain to the elders why he committed such a heinous offence.

To make matters worse for the victim, her husband was seeking divorce after he found out that his wife had been raped.

In an interview with DAILY GUIDE, the husband, Noagitey Sonastey, a farmer, said he and the victim had been married for 17 years with two children.

According to him, on the 14th of November this year, after returning from the farm, he realized that an amount of ¢14.8 million had been taken out of the ¢22.35 million he had kept after selling some shea nuts from his farm.

He said the wife, with whom he stayed, was not at home at the time, so he traced her to her father's house.

Upon questioning, the wife denied taking the said money and the matter was reported to the Tuna Police.

Being the prime suspect, she was invited by the police and detained for two days, after which she was granted bail.

Mr. Sonastey said his wife, after her release, told him before other family members that the police constable had raped her the night before.

He disclosed that he reported the matter to the chief's palace for immediate action to be taken, since he doubted that the police could do a candid investigation into the case.

Mr. Sonastey, who did not seem satisfied with the ruling of the chief and elders, had made known his intention to divorce the wife.

'I lost my money; I have not found it; my wife has been raped, and I do not know the kind of sickness the policeman has transmitted to her. So how can I still continue marrying her?” he bemoaned.

He also appealed to government for the removal of the constable from Tuna to prevent a recurrence of such an incident.

The rape victim, Latifia Noagitey told DAILY GUIDE she was sexually assaulted by the said constable the night prior to her being granted bail.

According to her, before the incident that evening, the constable had been overly kind to her and even allowed her to take her bath.

According to her, “after the incident, he did not tell me anything but walked out leaving me to my fate”.

Meanwhile, DAILY GUIDE could not reach the police constable in question as he was said to have been on an assignment.

When the Police Officer in charge of the Tuna Police Station, Sergeant A. W. Frimpong was reached on his cell phone, he declined to comment on the issue, saying the matter had already been settled at the chief's palace and he did not want to contribute to the dismissal of any police personnel under his command.

Meanwhile, Mr Raphael Ali Yenbapono, the Project Manager for TUWODEP, a non-governmental organization (NGO) which seeks to liberate rural women in the Bole District of the Northern Region, has called on the Police Administration to remove Constable Nketia from the Tuna Police Station to prevent any reprisal from the villagers.

He said this was not the first time women had been molested by those who were posted there for official duties, calling on government to punish the constable since his action was an embarrassment to the Police Service.

He gave the assurance that his outfit, which works in collaboration with concerned partners and donors to empower women, had asked FIDA to come to the victim's aid.

By Linda Tenyah