A woman at Kasoa in the Central Region was last Monday night flogged by 17 people on the orders of a fetish priest after he had pronounced her guilty of stealing in a trial by ordeal.
Adwoa Ataa, 32, suffered lacerations on her neck as a result of the ordeal the fetish priest put her through.
“Seventeen people, including two women, flogged me with a belt. Each one gave me seven lashes on the orders of the fetish priest,” she claimed.
So far, only three of the perpetrators have been arrested. The rest, including the fetish priest whose name was not immediately known, are at large, a brother of the victim said.
Mr Simon Donkor, the caretaker of the house where Adwoa is a tenant, said one of the tenants reported to him that her blender had been stolen and all the tenants denied taking it, so he led them to a fetish priest to find out who among them had stolen the blender.
According to Adwoa, the fetish priest buried a metal ball, tied with a strong rope almost two feet in the ground. That same rope was tied firmly around her neck and was used to also bind her hands behind her.
“He then told me to pull the metal ball out of the ground by my neck. I tried hard many times but I couldn’t,” she narrated.
Adwoa said the rope chafed her neck and so she gave up. “Then he said I was the one who stole the blender because I could not pull the metal from the ground,” she said.
At that point, Adwoa said, the fetish priest ordered that the co-tenants and those with him should each give her seven lashes for stealing, which they did.
Adwoa said she protested all along that she was innocent but no one paid attention to her, except one woman who refused to lash her.
Following her ordeal, Adwoa said she could no longer live in that house because she felt humiliated.
When contacted, the Kasoa Divisional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr David Agyemang Adjem, confirmed that his outfit was handling the case and had charged the perpetrators who had been arrested with assault.
Meanwhile, the perpetrators of the crime have approached the victim for an out-of-court settlement and have agreed to pay her compensation to enable her to rent a new place and to also pay for her medical bills.