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26.07.2004 Crime & Punishment

Chief, four others to die, for murder of woman

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Sekondi, July 26, GNA - A Sekondi High Court on Monday sentenced Nana Kwadwo Ahi, also known as Kofi Sumena, Chief of Sefwi Tumantu and four others to death for the murder of Felicia Gyebuah. They pleaded not guilty.

The other convicts were Okyeame Kwadwo Nkuah, 60, linguist, Kwasi Mintah, 43, Yaw Pae, 31 and Yaw Mintah, 33, all farmers. The seven-member jury returned a verdict of guilty for the conspiracy and murder charges.

Nana Ahi and Okyeame Nkuah, were charged with conspiracy, while the three others were charged with murder.

Mr Justice Clemence J. Honyenugah, presiding told the convicts that their fate remained in the hands of the President, saying, they could appeal against the sentence.

Mr William Pobee, Principal State Attorney, told the court that between January and February 2001, the victim, Felicia Gyebuah, lived with her husband, Emmanuel Nketsiah, a settler farmer at Nyame Bekyere near Tumantu and a relative Atta Kwaku.

He said during the period Kwasi Mintah, Pae and Yaw Mintah invited Atta Kwaku to the Palace and told him that they needed the blood of a pregnant woman for some rituals and requested his assistance to kill Felicia for the purpose.

Mr Pobee said when Kwaku refused, the group threatened to kill him if he disclosed the matter to anyone.

They however promised him a large tract of land if he assisted them.

Kwaku out of fear, according to the prosecutor, kept quiet over the issue.

Mr Pobee said two months later in March 2001, Nketsiah travelled to his hometown in the Brong Ahafo region, leaving his wife in the care of Kwaku.

The following day around 0700 hours, Felicia also decided to travel to Kumasi.

As Kwaku was walking her to the lorry park, Mintah, Pae and Yaw Mintah approached them and offered to go with Felicia to the lorry park, since they were heading towards that direction.

Two days later, the group brought some items to Kwaku, which they claimed was from Felicia in Kumasi.

According to the prosecutor, Nketsiah returned a week later and was informed by Kwaku that his wife had travelled to Kumasi but investigations proved otherwise.

Alarmed at the news, a search party was organized but Nana Ahi refused to mobilize his subjects to help in the exercise. A group from other communities found Felicia's body in a shallow grave in Yaw Pae's cocoa farm.

Following the discovery, Kwaku reported the conversation he had earlier with the accused persons.

Mr Pobee told the court that the suspected pregnancy of Felicia was detected to be fibroid after post mortem.

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