Emelia Donkor, mother of a 15-year-old juvenile in the alleged ritual killing of a 10-year-old boy, Ishmael Abdallah, at Kasoa in the Central Region, has given a chilly testimony in court.
The juvenile’s mother testified as third prosecution witness (PW3) in the trial, after the testimonies of the father of the deceased (PW1) and her own daughter (PW2).
She gave a vivid account of events that led to the discovery of the lifeless body of 10-year-old Ishmael Abdallah on April 3, 2021.
The juvenile’s mother told the trial Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo, and the empaneled jury yesterday, that the deceased and her son were friends.
PW3 told the court that on the day of the incident, she sent her daughter to call the juvenile at the deceased’s house to help them fetch water, but the latter delayed in coming back.
With uncontrollable tears streaming down her cheeks while being led by a Principal State Attorney (PSA), Ama Anoma Osei, she gave her evidence-in-chief. PW3 indicated that the juvenile joined her later, after she was done with almost three trips of fetching the water.
The juvenile is standing trial with an 18-year-old offender for alleged killing 10-year-old Ishmael Abdallah.
While PW3 was expressing her emotions by crying profusely, the 15-year-old juvenile could not lift his head throughout the hearing. She told the court that it was her daughter who hinted her about the incident.
According to her, the juvenile stopped his sister while she attempted to go behind an uncompleted building near their house to urinate.
PW3 told the court that she became curious and decided to check what might have compelled her son to stop his sister from using the back of the uncompleted building to attend to nature’s call.
The case has been adjourned to April 4, 2023, and the following are some excerpts from the proceedings.
Q. Do you know Ishmael Mensah Abdallah?
A. Ishmael is my son, the first accused’s (A1) friend.
Q. Where is Ishmael at the moment?
A. He is dead.
Q. Do you know PW2 (name withheld)?
A. Yes. PW2 is my daughter.
Q. On Saturday April 3, 2021, where were you?
A. I was at home.
Q. When you say you were in the house where exactly is it, your home in X (name withheld) or Kasoa Coca Cola?
A. Kasoa Coca Cola.
Q. You told the court that Ishmael Abdalla is dead. Do you know the circumstances leading to his death?
Q. Please, tell the court?
A. On that very Saturday, in the morning I was fetching water. The woman who sells the water told me that she was going to church and that I should ask my children to help me. On my first trip of fetching the water, I sent for the juvenile at Ishmael’s mother’s place.
The children reported back that the juvenile says they should take the lead with his bucket, and that he will follow later.
I took his bucket, and I fetched the water twice. When I returned from fetching the water, PW2 told me that she was going back of the uncompleted building to urinate. When she got there A1 asked her to return and that Ishmael was there.
Q. How close is the uncompleted building to your house?
A. It’s very close to my house. When PW2 told me that, I decided to go and find out for myself why they have asked PW2 to return. When I got there, I stood in the window and stretched my neck to check, and I saw that there was a portion that had been weeded and heaped.
I saw footprints of three people and I got frightened. The set of footprints I saw in the room, the first one appeared to [be] very heavy; the second one was medium, and the third small. I went back to my room to call my husband, at the time he was sleeping.
I informed him about what PW2 had told me after I returned from fetching water.
He retorted, saying ‘you always like panicking’, and he went with me to the uncompleted building. When we got there, he also saw that the portion that has been weeded and heaped up, and two blocks had been placed on it.
My husband jumped into the room, and I asked him to lift the blocks so that we can check what was under the blocks. Immediately after lifting the blocks, the heaped earth got a big bigger. So I told my husband, ‘Kay, has the juvenile killed somebody’s fowl and hidden it here to keep it from us for fear of being scolded’?
My husband told me that how could A1 kill someone’s fowl. I was a bit jittery. I told my husband, ‘Kay, remove what is covering whatever is hidden under’. So he went to a small room in this uncompleted building near where… heaped the earth.
He took [a] shovel. When he used the shovel to hit the place where it was heaped, blood began oozing out, and I said to my husband, ‘it appears there is something lying there’ and my husband responded that ‘yes, there is something beneath it’.
I urged my husband to dig further and [a] human hand popped out. We became more scared. I told him ‘it is [a] human hand that has popped out, and we don’t know who that person is,’ therefore, he should dig and exhume the body so that we can identify the body of the deceased. When he dug and exhumed the body, we realised it is the body of Ishmael.
Case adjourned to April 4, 2023.