Pressure group, OccupyGhana is calling for the arrest of everyone who was present when a 90-year-old woman accused of being a witch was murdered in cold blood.
It said the murder of the old woman was a trial by ordeal, which is a second-degree felony under section 315 or Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).
“Indeed, each of the persons captured on the video as being present are guilty of the misdemeanour of being present when the crime was taking place, under section 316 of the Act,” OccupyGhana said in a statement issued on Monday evening.
In a video that has since gone viral, the 90-year-old woman, later identified as Akua Denteh, was seen being beaten by two women at Kafaba near Salaga in the Savannah Region after a fetish priest accused her of being a witch. She later died of her wounds at the scene of the incident which happened on Thursday, July 23, 2020 in the East Gonja Municipality.
“For not taking any step to prevent the crime, all those persons are guilty of a second misdemeanour under section 22 of the Act,” the pressure group stressed.
“We therefore call for the arrest of everyone who is identified as being present. Faced with the prospect of jail, they are very likely to help identify and track all the perpetrators in the murder.”
It is also calling for a move to change the “deeply-held” belief systems and do away with superstitions that witches are responsible for most misfortunes in society.
It warned that if this is not done, the assaults and lynching of poor women will not stop.
The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has also been called upon by the group to step up its efforts to educate the population about superstitions and arcane customs and practices.
OccupyGhana noted that a program reminding Ghanaians about the need to respect each other’s civil and human rights is direly needed.
The group has asked the Gender and Social Protection Ministry to enforce the closure of the so-called ‘Witch Camps’ and allow all inmates and children there to re-join society with adequate protections.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Police Service has confirmed the arrest of one Sherina Mohammed, who is alleged to be the sorcerer who masterminded the lynching of the 90-year-old.
The 40-year-old woman known as ‘Alhajia’ is said to have been arrested at her hideout at Yeji in the Bono East Region.