15th July 2024

A seven- member jury at the Sekondi High Court One last Friday sentenced to death Samuel Udotek Wills and John  Oje  for  kidnapping  and murdering four Takoradi girls.

According to the jury, all available evidence proves that the two connived in committing the crime and were therefore found guilty of all eight counts or charges against them.

The ruling followed a two-hour summary of the case by Adjei Frimpong, the presiding Judge.

Stating his opinion at the end of the summary, Mr Frimpong said it was up to the jury to accept or reject it.

Reactions

There were mixed reactions by parents and relations of the murdered girls when the ruling was finally given.

While some described it as ‘excellent’, others said they had nothing to say since it was based on law.

A third group said they were still not satisfied in spite of the death sentence imposed on the accused persons.

According to them, they have the premonition that the girls are still alive, and urged the police to go and bring them.

The grandmother of Ruth Abaka, Veronica Anzah Kwabena, said the family believes that she is alive.

“I am not convinced. The suspects never admitted to killing the girls, so on what grounds are they being charged with murder? Besides, we the family of Ruth have not admitted the bones presented to us as the remains of our daughter. I believe that my granddaughter is alive. We can’t just close the case by declaring the suspects guilty and sentencing them to death,” she said.

Several women’s groups have commended the court for the ruling, but wonder why the two police men said to have aided Udeotek to escape custody at his initial arrest  were  also  not prosecuted.

Be vigilant                                                                

They however advised parents to learn a lesson from the sad and unfortunate story by not only keeping an eye on their daughters but also providing them with their needs.

This, they said, is because the girls were lured with material things like mobile phones and promises of securing them jobs

Ruth Abaka was 19 whilst the other victims were Priscilla Blessing Bentum, 21,  Ruth Love Quayson, 18 and Priscilla Koranchie, 15.

They went missing between July and December 2018.

The incident triggered a national discussion, with many public protests staged, especially in Takoradi, to demand the return of the girls and impressed upon the government to act swiftly.

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