Court threatens to free ritualists charged with murder of biochemist

The Kaneshie District Court has threatened to strike out the case involving three traditional priests who allegedly killed a biochemist at Adieso in the Eastern Region.

This was after the prosecution turned up late, leaving the judge, Rosemond Dodua Agyiri, furious.

“The agreed time was 9:00am and you are now coming…after 11am. If you fail to come at the scheduled time again, I will strike out the case,” the judge told the prosecution team led by Detective Inspector Lawrence Anani.

Looking all remorseful, Detective Anani apologised to the court.

He explained to the court that the prosecution was still waiting on the advice from the Attorney General’s Department before proceeding with the case.

At the last sitting, the prosecution had told the court that the police was studying retrieved phone conversations between the accused persons and the victim.

The trio are currently facing a committal proceeding which would determine whether, in the case of more serious criminal offences, including murder, there is sufficient evidence to require the accused persons to stand trial at the High Court.

Committal proceedings are generally held before a magistrate, who hears evidence from the prosecution.

Should the case be struck out, the police could still arrest the accused persons and charge them with the same offence for the second time.

Background

Three traditional priests were hauled before the court for allegedly causing the death of Edward Quartey Papafio, a 64-year-old bio-Chemist at Adeiso in the Eastern Region.

Christian Awoe Gameli aka Power One, 40, Famous Adukonu aka Scorpion, 37, and Yaw Azamate, 27, are being held on the charges of conspiracy to commit murder and murder.

The court did not take their plea.

ALSO READ: Why prosecution is asking for more time 

Facts of the case

The case of the prosecution was that the complainant is the Reverend Comfort Ruth Quartey Papafio, who resides at Takoradi in the Western Region.

Gameli, Adukonu and Azamete, operate their business at Adu-Kojo and Kwasi-Nyarko, all suburbs of Mame Dede in the Eastern Region.

On January 17, this year, the complainant reported that her husband, Mr Quartey Papafio, was missing. He had left his residence at Kasoa on January 15 at about 7:30am.

According to the prosecution on receipt of the complainant, the Police gathered intelligence that the deceased was last spotted at Gameli’s shrine located at the outskirts of Adu Kojo, which led to the arrest of Gameli and Adukonu on April 21, this year.

According to prosecution, a search conducted at Gameli’s shrine revealed two pump action guns, one single barrel gun, eleven packets of cartridges, seven other pieces of the cartridges from his room and two shovels behind his house.

During interrogation, Gameli and Adukonu admitted shooting the deceased with the pump-action gun on January 15, this year and buried the corpse at the shrine.

On April 29, the two led the police to Power One herbal/ Spiritual Centre where the police identified the deceased’s make-shift grave behind Gameli’s house.

The prosecution added that the scene was secured and an exhumation order was obtained from the court for that purpose.

On April 30, this year, a pathologist together with senior officers from the CID Headquarters, Personnel from the Crime Scene Management Team, Forensic Science Laboratory, Drone Operation and CID/ Headquarters Operational Team went to exhume the deceased body.

He said when the grave was dug, the decomposed body of Mr Quartey Papafio was removed.

It was also discovered that his grave was among other graves in the accused person’s cemetery, which was well fenced.

Further investigations disclosed that on December 29, Gameli, Adukonu and Azamete conspired to kill Mr Papafio, hence lured him with the assistance of one Buzanga, also a traditional priest at Kasoa, currently at Large.

The prosecution said before the murder of the deceased, the accused decieved him to part with ¢10,650 paid through mobile money under the pretext of conjuring ¢400,000 for him to establish his company.

He said Papafio was invited to the shrine on January 15, this year for purification and in the process Adukonu shot him with Gameli’s gun.

The accused then drained some quantity of Mr Papafio’s blood into a plastic gallon and hid same at the shrine while Gameli took possession of the deceased mobile phones and later buried the deceased with the assistance of Azamate and Michael who is also on the run.

The prosecution said Gameli and Adukonu allegedly confessed to the police that the blood in the gallon was a mixture of Papafio’s blood and another victim who was also buried among other bodies at the cemetery.

He said the gallon of blood and the body were deposited at the police morgue for examination.

Mr Anani said the complainant later identified the two mobile phones of the deceased.

The prosecution said the pathologist gave the cause of death of Mr Papafio as hemorrhagic shock, traumatic amputation and unnatural severe chest pain.

The case is set to continue on September 28, 2020.

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