Court remands 7 over murder of ‘witches’
The Bolgatanga High Court on Thursday denied a bail application by seven persons who are standing trial over their involvement in the death of two individuals branded as witches at Yameriga in the Talensi District in the Upper East Region.
The seven are Zongdan Boyak, a miner; George Yidaan Ziyaaba, a teacher; Boadaam Tongo, a farmer; Duun Kolog, a fetish priest, and Solomon Kolog, Boare Yidaan and Yidaan Duun, all farmers.
Duun Kolog, Solomon Kolog, Yidaan Duun and Yidaan Boare are standing trial charged with three counts of unlawful trial by ordeal contrary to Section 315 (1 and 2) of the Criminal and Other Offences Act (Act 29), as well as murder contrary to Section 46 of the Criminal and Other Offences Act (Act 29).
Boyak, Ziyaaba and Boadaam Tongo were charged with abetment to commit murder contrary to Section 20 (1) and 46 of the Criminal and Other Offences Act of 1960 (Act 29) and conspiracy to commit a trial by ordeal.
The case has been adjourned to August 23, 2022.
According to a police source, around 3:30 p.m. of August 10, 2022, the Assembly Member for Yameriga informed the police that his brother, Pusorb Naab Yinvi, 60, and a sister in-law, Boabil Yidaana, 56, were both sent to a soothsayer at Datuko village to prove their innocence after they were accused of witchcraft.
The two, it turned out, had died in the process of the so-called trial by ordeal.
The source said the police went to Datuko and arrested Kolog, the fetish priest, to assist in investigations, and thereafter proceeded to Yameriga where the bodies of the two were lying on mats in a supine position in separate rooms, with blood oozing from their mouth and nostrils.
The source indicated that the police took photographs of the deceased for evidential purposes before conveying the bodies to the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital morgue.
The source noted that preliminary investigations revealed that in July this year, Yindaan Yinbil, 10, died after a short illness, and his father, Yidaan Tii, engaged Kolog, the soothsayer, to ascertain the cause of his child’s death.
The soothsayer related the boy’s death to the witchcraft of Yinvi and Yidaana.
The two then followed Yidaan Tii to the soothsayer, ostensibly to go and prove their innocence.
The soothsayer gave them a substance in a calabash to drink to prove their innocence, after which they began to vomit as they complained of stomach pains upon drinking it.
Yidaana died after struggling for a while, while Yinvi, who became unconscious, died shortly after being sent home.
Kolog then pronounced the two as a witch and a wizard.
The police later arrested the suspects and retrieved a sample of the liquid substance kept in a bottle hidden in a cluster of bones and a calabash at the soothsayer’s shrine for forensic laboratory examination.