The Ofaakor District Court on Tuesday ordered the police to establish the age of one of the teenagers held over the murder of 10-year-old Ishmael Mensah Abdallah, at Kasoa in the Central Region.
The Court also directed the police to put their house in order and send a duplicate docket to the Attorney General’s Office for advice.
The order came after the prosecution, led by Chief Inspector Ernest Agbo, told the Court that the police were yet to reconcile the age of Felix Nyarko, one of the suspects, who was said to be 16 years.
Nyarko is standing trial with Nicholas Kini, aged 18. The two have been charged with conspiracy to murder and murder.
The Court is yet to take their pleas with the age of Nyarko being a subject of dispute. It has remanded them into police custody to reappear on May 4, 2021, before the Court, presided over by Mr Samuel Kwasi Agyei.
The prosecution told the Court that they were yet to complete investigations and prayed it to remand the accused and minor suspect for their own safety.
On the age of Nyarko, the prosecution said his mother was not certain about his age so they had obtained a court order to be served on the hospital where Nyarko was born.
Chief Inspector Agbo opposed the bail application for the accused persons, saying when granted bail, their safety could not be guaranteed as tempers were still high in the community.
Lawyer Samuel Atuah, whom the Court delegated to act as counsel for the accused persons, prayed for bail citing Article 19 (2) (C) of the Constitution to buttress his point.
Mr Atuah said the accused persons had parents and people in good standing who would act as sureties when admitted to bail.
Narrating the facts of the case, Chief Inspector Agbo said the complainant in the case was Frank Mensah Abdallah, a public servant residing at Coca-Cola, near Lamptey Mills at Kasoa.
Nyarko was a mason labourer and neighbour to the complainant, whiles Kwame was a student residing at Lamptey Mills, a suburb of Kasoa.
Nyarko and Kwame had been friends since 2008 and for some time now, Nyarko had been watching television channels, which entertained mallams and other spiritualists who promoted their prowess in making people instant millionaires.
The prosecution said Nyarko informed Kwame about what he had watched and Kwame advised that there was a certain spiritualist in the Volta Region who could assist them.
Chief Inspector Agbo said Kwame, who did not own a phone, provided the phone number of the said spiritualist to Nyarko, who had access to his mother’s phone.
After contacting the said spiritualist, she (the spiritualist) agreed to help if only Nyarko could provide a human being and cash of GHC5,000 for the rituals, prosecution said.
On April 3, this year, the accused persons settled on Ishmael Mensah Abdallah, aged 10 years 11 months, who was the son of the complainant, lured him into an uncompleted building and hit him with a club and cement block, killing him instantly, prosecution said.
He said Nyarko had initially planned to kidnap Ishmael and demand a ransom of GHC5,000 from his mother, so they could send the victim for the ritual.
However, when the victim arrived, the accused persons realised that kidnapping him would be difficult so they decided to kill him, prosecution said.
He said Nyarko’s younger sister, aged eight, felt something was going on so she walked towards the direction of the building but Nyarko drove her away.
The accused persons, after murdering the victim, dug a hole and buried the corpse with the intent of returning at night to convey it to the Volta Region for the ritual.
Luck, however, eluded them when Nyarko’s sister went to inform her father (Mr Nyarko) who was a step father to Nyarko (accused) that something had happened in an uncompleted building, prosecution said.
Mr Nyarko went to the scene and saw that the place had been “disturbed” and when he decided to remove the surface sand, he found the body of the deceased buried and covered with sand.
Chief Inspector Agbo said Mr Nyarko quickly confronted Nyarko who confessed and mentioned Kwame as his accomplice.
He said the accused persons were arrested and handed over to the police.