- The girl was defiled twice by the man on July 14 and 17, 2015
- The case was first taken to court by the Investigator, Madam Mary Ashai, in the same year
- On August 6, 2021, a High Court judge sentenced the accused to nine years imprisonment
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A girl who was defiled (name withheld) has finally been served justice after six years of legal battle.
On July 30, 2015, Atinka FM’s Regina Asamoah first broke a story of a 10-year-old girl who was left bedridden after being defiled twice by a man whom she alleged was her schoolmate’s father.
The girl was a class one pupil of Anyaa D/A Government School who stayed with her aunt at Anyaa, a suburb of Accra in the Greater Accra Region.
Initial interaction with the girl on her sickbed at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital’s Children’s Ward revealed that the suspect defiled her in a bush on July 14 and 17, 2015 respectively on her way to school.
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The man known to the victim as Jessica Papa (Jessica’s Father) is said to be an auto mechanic who also lives in the area. Jessica’s Papa’s real name is Mathew Nartey.
Paediatricians at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital confirmed in their report at the hospital that she was bedridden due to the force penetration when she was defiled. The family later resorted to herbal medicine due to a lack of finances to continue the medication at the Teaching Hospital.
Her mother (name withheld) now deceased, in an earlier interview with Regina Asamoah in June 2019, explained that they had to resort to herbal medicine because they couldn’t raise an amount of GHC120,000 for their daughter to undergo surgery if she is unable to walk after one month of review.
After several attempts, the victim could now walk but falls at the least attempt to walk fast. Occasionally, she falls and complains of pains around her hip and arm.
Her aunt (name withheld) said the victim has become traumatised and would not go on any errand that takes her far away from the house. The family had to relocate to psychologically help her recover from the trauma.
In 2015, the case was first taken to court by the Investigator, Madam Mary Ashai. The accused pleaded an alibi, hence, he was discharged. It is worthy of note that the family of the victim was not informed about the court date, hence, their inability to go to the court. The family only got to know after they had visited the police station to enquire if a court date had been secured, only to be informed that the accused has been discharged.
After series of reports by Atinka FM’s Regina Asamoah on the girl’s condition, the accused was rearrested and brought to the court. On March 9, 2017, the case started de novo at the Circuit Court 5 (Gender Court) in Accra in the Greater Accra Region.
After one year and seven months of going to the court, on October 2, 2018, the Counsel for the accused pleaded for an adjournment for submission of no case. The case was then adjourned to November 1, 2018.
However, the news of the transfer of the judge came as a surprise to all. The family who thought they were gradually getting close to justice for their daughter, became frustrated but with hope in the justice system of the country, the family agreed to start the case once again afresh.
Prosecuting Officer, Chief Inspector Kofi Atimbire, in an earlier interaction told Atinka FM’s Regina Asamoah that it was frustrating starting the case all over again considering the stage it got to. However, he assured that the case which started de novo on November 20, 2018, will travel fast as in his own estimation all evidence and witnesses were still intact. However, the case did not travel as fast as expected.
The newly transferred judge started the case denovo. Months into the case, the judge was promoted to serve as a High Court Judge as such her days at the Circuit Court were numbered. The family was later informed that the Judge will only sit on Fridays at the Circuit Court.
Just when a date for the judgment was set in February 2020, the accused absconded. Efforts to get his sureties to appear before the court proved futile. An arrest warrant was issued on February 14, 2020, against the accused, Mathew Nartey.
Upon a tip-off, the accused, Mathew Nartey was rearrested on July 13, 2021, by police personnel from the Odorkor Police Divisional Headquarters led by the Station Officer, Chief Inspector George Koranteng at Nsakina (a community in Greater Accra Region) where the accused operated as ‘Trotro’ Driver.
He appeared before the court on July 23, 2021, where he was placed on remand after he appealed for mercy, explaining that he absconded to take care of his ill health that needed urgent attention. The case was adjourned to August 6, 2021, for judgment.
On August 6, 2021, at about 1:25 pm, a High Court judge, Justice Rita Abroakwah sitting in at the Gender Court, brought finality to the case.
She sentenced the accused, Mathew Nartey to nine years imprisonment and a compensation fine of GHC5000 to cover the victim’s medical bills. She tasked the Police to take the accused to the hospital for treatment although the accused did not submit any report as evidence of his ill-health.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Atinka News Regina Asamoah, the abused girl now 16-year-old sighed a deep relief saying, ‘I can now go out without fear as the man who abused me is behind bars. I thank Jehovah for the victory and for granting me justice’.
The aunt of the victim was full of appreciation for all those who have supported her since the unfortunate incident happened to her niece. According to her, her faith in journalists has increased as Atinka FM/TV’s continuous report on the issue has ensured this victory despite the long legal battle.
Reacting to the judgement, Country Director of Plan International Ghana, Solomon Tesfamariam expressed his excitement at the justice served the abused girl as following the story since 2019, he was worried about the state of the girl and the fact that justice had not been served.
According to him, justice brings closure to the case and sends a message that abuse against girls is illegal and unacceptable. He called for deeper collaboration between the health and legal system in Ghana in the effective management of defilement cases to ensure speedy prosecution and complete medical care for victims of abuse.
Teenager in Ghana builds electric motorbike
In a separate story, a talented teenager in Ghana has built a solar-powered electric motorbike with a wooden frame with a functioning bell, break, lights, and music.
The boy's invention has appeared in a video making the rounds on social media.
In the video spotted by YEN.com.gh, the talented teenager confirms that he built the electric motorbike from scratch while a man visibly stunned by the boy's invention talked about the components of the motorbike.