Grace Omaboe aka Maame Dokono GRACE OMABOE, a popular Ghanaian film actress and television talk-show hostess, is fuming with rage over her arrest and closure of her Peace and Love Rehabilitation Centre by officials of the Social Welfare Department.
The celebrated actress, popularly known as Maame Dokono, is hitting the roof over the issue and says the manner in which it is being handled has created a rather strong perception that the whole episode was politically orchestrated in order to victimise her for openly supporting the New Patriotic Party (NPP) during the last general elections.
She has also condemned the incident and noted that though officials claim they had closed down the orphanage over allegations that an 8-year-old boy had sexually abused two other inmates of the home, many of the orphans are still enjoying the facility and have not been sent to other orphanages as is being claimed.
The reported abuses occurred when the actress was out of the country on holidays in Holland.
Indeed when DAILY GUIDE visited the orphanage at about 7:00 am yesterday morning, many of the inmates were still there, contrary to claims that they had all been taken to other centres.
Some of the inmates were seen learning in the rooms while others were happily playing on the compound.
Meanwhile, in an earlier interview with DAILY GUIDE , both Steven Adongo, Acting Director of the Social Welfare Department and Madam Helen Obeng Asamoah, Coordinator of the Care Reform Initiative of the department, said they were evacuating inmates of the orphanage to other centres so as to prevent them from undergoing further abuse.
Though officials of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service initially charged Maame Dokono for exposing children to danger and allowing her premises to be used for sexual activities, the new found reason for closing the orphanage is that she was operating the facility illegally without the requisite licence.
The actress explained that the perception that her arrest has political undertones is further fuelled by the fact that even when she had been charged and was on bail, waiting for investigations to be concluded and the case sent to court, a number of police personnel on Wednesday stormed her orphanage and attempted to arrest her with force.
She also mentioned that many, if not all, of the private orphanages in the country are still in the process of being fully licensed and wondered why the authorities had singled out her facility and wanted to close down the place.
The deputy Director of the Social Welfare Department yesterday admitted to Citi Fm that issues of children abusing each other in orphanages are not uncommon but the reported incident at the Peace and Love Rehabilitation Centre is what the department wants to get investigated.
Drama unfolded at the Ministries Police station on Wednesday evening when news broke that Maame Dokono had been detained there.
Several of her fans, led by Frances Assiam, a political activist, stormed the police station to protest against the arrest and continuous detention of the ace actress.
By Halifax Ansah-Addo