A Sekondi High Court in the Western Region has commenced full trial of the two Nigerians who kidnapped and allegedly killed four girls from the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis, thereby sparking national outrage.
On Wednesday, three prosecution witnesses were called to testify before the court.
The first prosecution witness, led in evidence by the Chief State Attorney, Patience Klinogo, was Alexander Koranchie, father of one of the victims, Priscilla Koranchie.
Mr. Koranchie gave a harrowing account, including how his daughter would sometimes cry on phone used by the kidnappers to contact him for ransom.
He told the court, presided over by Justice Richard Adjei-Frimpong, that Priscilla Mantebea Koranchie, 15, was a first-year student of Sekondi College and that she was kidnapped on December 21, 2018.
He said on that fateful day, the daughter told him she was going to collect something from somebody.
The father indicated that later in the day, he received a phone call from someone whose accent depicted that of a Nigerian telling him that they had kidnapped his daughter.
Mr. Koranchie said the suspect then demanded various sums of money from him, with a pledge to release his daughter.
He said he quickly reported the case to the police even though the suspect warned him not to do so if he wanted to see his daughter alive.
He disclosed that though he paid a ransom of about GH¢1,000 to the suspect through mobile money, he failed to release Priscilla.
He indicated that the police later managed to arrest the suspect, Samuel Udoetuk Wills.
He pointed out that he realized the suspect lived around the same vicinity at where he (Mr. Koranchie) resided at the Kansaworodo-West Fijai area.
“The dress of my daughter was also found at where the suspect was arrested,” he told the court.
He said the police later retrieved some skeletal remains in a cesspit at Kansaworodo, a suburb of Takoradi, believed to be that of the missing girls.
He said, subsequently, DNA tests were conducted by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service on the skeletal remains which confirmed that the remains were that of the girls, including his daughter.
During cross-examination, Mark Bosia, counsel for the accused, asked the witness what unique feature was with the accent of the person who called him on phone for him to conclude that it was a foreign one.
The witness said he was able to detect a Nigerian accent and insisted that the person who called him for the ransom was Samuel Wills.
The lawyer also asked whether he (the witness) knew John Oji, the second accused person, and the witness answered in the negative.
Counsel then asked how long Mr. Koranchie spoke with the suspect on phone and the witness said it was a little over an hour and that his daughter cried for help.
Counsel also asked whether the victim mentioned the name of the suspect during his conversation with his daughter on the kidnapper’s phone and he answers in the negative.
Counsel further wanted to know whether the victim was the only one who had that type of dress he (witness) claimed belonged to the daughter and Mr. Koranchie insisted that his daughter was wearing that dress on that fateful day.
Sitting continues on Tuesday, September 1.