A Queen Mother, a Pastor and two others are standing trial at the Child-friendly and Gender-based Violence Court at the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) headquarters in Accra, for human trafficking offenses involving a one-month-old baby of a man with disability.
The accused persons, Pastor Henry Mawutor and his daughter, Patience Mawutor are facing three counts of abetment of crime, human trafficking and exposing child to danger, while the Queen mother, Nana Abena Nyarkoa II and a business woman, Jane Gerbs are facing two counts of human trafficking and exposing child to danger.
Prosecuting officer, Inspector Opoku Aniagyei told the court on Friday September 16, 2022 that, “The complainant, 53-year-old Tetteh Zodah is a Goldsmith and lives at Agormenya in the Eastern region. The first accused person, Patience Mawutor, 29 is unemployed and lives at Dodowa-Bawaleshie and a girlfriend of the complainant.”
“The second accused person, Jane Gerbs, 53, is a Chief Executive Officer of an NGO by name Forever True Friends Foundation, situated at Abokobi. The third accused person, Nana Abena Nyarkoa II, 38 years old, is also Chief Executive Officer of Pativers Pharmacy and lives at Bortianor”.
“The fourth accused person, Henry Mawutor, 59 years old, is a Pastor who lives at Agbogba and a father to the first accused person”.
According to Inspector Opoku Aniagyei, in December 2021, during a visit to Mr. Tetteh Zodah, Patience got sick and visited the Atuah Government Hospital, where she tested positive when a pregnancy test was conducted on her.
He added that, since then, Mr. Zodah took all the financial responsibilities of Patience and the unborn baby.
The prosecutor further told the court that Mr. Zodah and his family went to inform Patience Mawutor’s family of his intention to marry his girlfriend after delivery but Pastor Henry rejected the proposal with the reason that Mr. Zodah was disabled.
He continued that on August 10, 2022, Patience was delivered of a baby girl at the Abokobi Government Hospital but she did not inform Mr. Zodah about it. And in the morning of August 16, 2022, Mr. Zodah called her on her cell phone to check up on her but she did not tell him that she put to bed until later in that day when she called to inform him that she gave birth at the Ridge Hospital in Accra but the baby died and was buried by the Hospital Authorities.
Inspector Opoku said, “The complainant made a follow-up to the said Hospital and was told by the authorities that they had no record of the first accused person. In view of that, the complainant reported the matter to Dodowa DOVVSU and during investigation, the first accused person confessed to Police that she gave birth at the Abokobi Government Hospital but not Ridge as earlier stated”.
“The case was transferred to Adenta DOVVSU and during investigation, it came to light that the fourth accused person (Pastor Henry Mawutor) is a friend to the second accused person (Jane Gerbs)”.
He also reported that during one of their meetings, Pastor Henry confided in Jane Gerbs about Patience’s intention to abort the pregnancy. Later, Jane Gerbs convinced Patience not to abort the pregnancy but rather keep it and sell the baby to her after she put to bed.
“After delivery, she sold the baby to the second accused person for an amount of Gh¢5,000. The second accused person after receiving the baby took her to the third accused person (Nana Abana Nyarkoa II) at Bortianor to take care of her” the prosecutor added.
According to Inspector Opoku, the baby was later rescued and handed over to the Social Welfare Department.
All the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail to the tune of GH¢50,000 with two sureties each.
The presiding Judge, Madam Abena Amponsah-Boansi, adjourned the case to October 14, 2022.