The Sekondi High Court sentenced two defendants in the case of the four missing Takoradi girls to death on Friday.
Ruth Abakah, 19, Priscilla Blessing Bentum, 21, Ruth Love Quayson, 18, and Priscilla Koranchie, 15, were kidnapped and murdered by Samuel Udeotuk Wills and John Oji.
The victims were apprehended in various locations in the Western Region, including Kansawurodo, Butumagyebu, and Nkroful Junction in Sekondi-Takoradi.
The seven-member jury found the two defendants guilty of the felony after almost two years of deliberation.
Justice Richard Adjei-Frimpong, who presided over the proceedings, sentenced them to death by hanging.
He also stipulated that if the defendants wish to appeal the decision, they would do so within 30 days.
However, the judge’s decision was met with mixed reactions. Although some relatives were happy about it, others were still in shock.
Josephine Amo, a worried mother who was present at the High Court, expressed satisfaction with the decision in an interview.
“I am delighted with it if they would really abide by what they are saying,” she told the media during the hearings.
Francis Bentum, a relative of one of the victims, said he was unconcerned about the court’s decision.
According to him, his child is still alive because Tiwa Maame Yaa Addo Dankwah, the former head of the Criminal Investigation Department, told them that their daughters were still alive.
He accused the cops of fabricating the DNA study that proves the victims’ deaths in order to get the matter off their desk.
So far, the trip has been interesting.
Four Takoradi girls went missing between July and December 2018.
After months of fruitless checks, family, colleagues, and some locals staged a protest demanding justice on January 4, 2019.
During the rally, a concerned parent told the reporters, “The Police have not said anything to us, but we don’t know whether they are working on it or not.”
DCOP Vincent Redeemer Degir, the Western Regional Police Commander, held the first public news conference on the matter as a result of this. Providing information of how the kidnappings took place.
As a result, the story gained media coverage.
Takoradi residents have started a series of demonstrations to bring further attention to the saga and place pressure on the police to look into it.
Tiwa Maame Yaa Addo Dankwah, the then-head of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), paid a visit to the families on January 26 and expressed hope for their children’s welfare.
Madam Addo Dankwa told families that the police know where the girls were at a press conference on April 2, 2019.
“We’ve served well along with the BNI and now know where the girls are. We don’t want to jeopardize their wellbeing, so I can’t reveal any information. She assured the press, “The assurance to the family is that they can carry on carrying on.”
That, though, was not to be the case. The girls’ parents accused her of deceiving them.
The girls’ bones were found in a septic tank in the house of the prime perpetrator, Samuel Udeotuk Wills, by police who were also looking for them.
A DNA examination later proved that they were indeed the girls’ bones.
After years of court hearings, Inspector-General of Police (IGP) James Oppong-Boanuh claimed that suspects Samuel Udeotuk Wills and John Oji denied kidnapping the children.