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06.07.2005 Tabloid News

Herbalist in trouble for conducting trial by ordeal

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Breman Asikuma (C/R), July 6, GNA - A 70- year-old herbalist Afastiawu Agbetsiafa, based at Breman Asantem in Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa District was on June 26 2005 picked by the police for allegedly practising "trial by ordeal" during which a victim fell unconscious.

Thirteen others, including a driver, the complainant and his mate are helping the police at Brakwa and Breman Asikuma in their investigation.

Agbetsiafa, with 16 years experience in the practice of herbal medicine performed "trial by ordeal" in which the affected victim, Richard Kojo Esuon, 23, a native of Brakwa vomited, foamed at the mouth, defecated and collapsed at the shrine for some hours.

Esuon, who was rushed to the Brakwa Health centre was treated and later transferred to a Prayer Healing Camp at Brakwa.

Sources to the police indicated that the driver, Kofi Oppong, 25 and his mate, Alex Nyarko 17 prepared to load passengers from Brakwa to Accra at dawn.

The sources said the driver detected that his sales of 250 thousand cedis was missing and he confronted his mate who denied knowledge about it. Esuon the lone passenger who was found asleep

at the back seat of the vehicle with registration number GE 4583V was also confronted and he also denied any knowledge about the theft. The sources said the young men who were around the scene convinced the driver to send the suspect, Esuon for a "trial by ordeal" and the driver obliged.

The sources said, the driver and the mate were tried first but Esuon, the suspect who was the third person to be tried was trapped by two broom hung around his neck.

The sources said Esuon still denied any knowledge and the herbalist adopted another strategy by sprinkling water on Esuon and the others and thereafter, Esuon stripped his shirt, ran a for a distance and collapsed.

Sources said Esuon was then conveyed to the Brakwa police. The police accompanied Esuon to the herbalist who performed rituals for him to regain consciousness before he was admitted to the Brakwa Health Centre.

When contacted the district Police Commander for Asikuma Odobem Brakwa, Assistant superintendent Mahama Fuseini confirmed the story and said that investigations were in progress.

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