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Sodomy teacher’s case: Court sets October 21 to deliver judgment

The Tamale High Court has set October 21 to deliver judgment in the case of a teacher who allegedly sodomised 19 pupils.

This was after the accused, Nantomah Yamousah Otabil, pleaded guilty to all the charges preferred against him after investigations by the police.

The accused pleaded guilty to defilement and unnatural carnal knowledge on Thursday, October 14.

The presiding judge Justice Alexander Oworee remanded him into police custody to reappear on October 21, for judgement.

Prior to Thursday’s sitting, he was discharged by the Salaga Magistrate Court for lack of jurisdiction. However, he was rearrested and put before the High Court where he pleaded guilty.

The facts of the case presented in court are that the suspect is a Social Studies teacher at Kulpi Roman Catholic JHS in the East Gonja Municipality of the Savanna Region.

On Thursday, September 23, 2021, five of the victims confided in a female teacher of the school that their Social Studies teacher had been harassing them sexually.

The pupils confessed that the teacher took advantage of them at the teacher’s quarters through the anus without using a condom, after he lured them to his residence under the pretest of sending them on errands.

The female teacher on hearing this informed the headmaster, who in turn, told his assistant.

The victims were invited to the headmaster’s office for questioning, where they admitted that several others had been sexually harassed by the same teacher.

The accused was later invited and when asked, he admitted to the said allegations.

Background

The suspect was arrested in the early hours of Monday, 27 September, following a complaint lodged by some family members of the victims.

Nine pupils initially accused the teacher of the crime, but seven later opened up to also point fingers at the teacher. As of Thursday, September 30,  a total of 19 pupils had come forward, accusing Otabil of the crime.

It is still unclear why the teacher who has been teaching in the community for the past four years would engage in such activities, but residents say this might not be his first time.

Colleague teachers who heard of his arrest expressed shock indicating that Otabil had never exhibited such traits.

“Otabil is somebody that if someone had told me that he has even slept with a lady, I wouldn’t have believed because ever since I have been here in the same quarters with him for the past four years, I have never seen him with a lady before.

“He is also a Pentecost Elder, and he prays a lot. It was difficult for me when I heard the news; I’m still in shock,” Nyaaba Veronica told 3news.

Previous Incidents

This is not the first time the issue of sodomy has surfaced in schools.

On 1 June 2011, a Mathematics teacher of Adisadel College in Cape Coast was alleged to have sodomised some students.

Richard Atta Panyin was arrested following a report made by the Headmaster of ADISCO, Mr H.K. Graham.

On 22 March 2018, a 21-year-old teacher was sentenced to eight years for sodomising a class one pupil.

The convict Michael Owiredu of the Alabasta Preparatory School at Opah, near Amasaman, was hired by the victim’s father to conduct extra classes for the boy at home.

He took advantage of the situation to sexually abuse the boy. His first encounter with the victim was in an uncompleted building in the vicinity. On other occasions, Owiredu took the victim to his house to have anal sex with him.

Also, on 20 June 2020, a 30-year-old class three teacher, Seth Kwabena Anim, was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment by an Accra Circuit Court for sodomising a 12-year-old boy.

The victim (name withheld) is a first year Junior High School (JHS) student in the school where the convict teaches.

Following the coronavirus outbreak, Anim visited the victim at home to assist him with his online school assignments.

Anim was arrested on 11 June 2020, when the victim’s mother suspected the teacher of having unnatural carnal knowledge with her son.

He was sentenced on his second appearance when he pleaded guilty to a charge of defilement.

He is to serve his sentence in the Ankaful Maximum Security Prison in the Central Region.

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