A Sekondi High Court will on Friday, March 5 give its final verdict in the murder trial of the two suspects in the killing of the four kidnapped Takoradi girls.
Nigerian nationals, Sam Udeotuk Wills and John Orji, who are both facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder, were initially charged with kidnapping.
The story so far
All four girls were kidnapped in 2018.
Ruth Abakah – July 29, 2018. She was last seen by her family at Diabena Methodist Church. She was 19 years.
Priscilla Blessing Bentum – August 17, 2018, captured at Kansawurodo. 21 years.
Ruth Love Quayeson – December 4, 2018, captured at Butumagyebu junction. 18 years
Priscilla Mantseabea Koranchie – December 21, 2018, captured at Nkroful Junction. 15 Years.
Three lived at Diabene and one at West Fijai, both suburbs of Sekondi -Takoradi.
Ruth Abakah kidnapped July 29, 2018
Elder Sister of Ruth Abakah, Matilda Abakah says the suspect called her demanding money to release her on the 30th of July.
Kidnappers of Ruth Love Quayson, for instance, used her phone to call the mother and demanded a ransom for her release. They followed up with text messages which included one sent on December 6, 2018, at 5:55 pm which read “Ur daughter is sick u beta pick so she can come back home.”
Ruth Love Quayson kidnapped December 4, 2018
According to the account of Nana Adjoa Quayson, her sister, Ruth Love Quayson left the house around 9:30 am to 10 am on December 4, 2018, to go to the MTN office for job recruitment.
Later she called “us with her phone around 1:30 crying and telling my mom to help her because she didn’t see anything again once she got into a taxi and that some people have taken her into a room demanding for GH¢500 before they will leave her.”
A GH¢10,000 ransom was later demanded in a phone call for her release.
They first went to Takoradi MTN office before 2 pm on December 4, for help to trace the number but were refused until they had a formal police request.
The family then moved to the Takoradi Market Circle station around 2 pm on the same day but the station told them they already have one unresolved kidnapping case so they should go to the Takoradi Central Police station.
They then went to the Takoradi Central Police station around 3 pm to report.
On the December 5, the first payment of GH¢100 was made for her feeding through the kidnapped girl’s phone. The police even recommended they rather pay GH¢50 but the kidnappers said GH¢50 was not enough for her feeding.
They paid another GH¢100 for medicine on December 6, when the kidnappers demanded money to buy medicine for the sister who had taken ill.
After more demands for the payment of the ransom of GH¢10,000 which was later bargained to GH¢8,000, they went to the BNI on December 7.
The BNI advised them to request for more time to organise.
The family used a different number to send GH¢500 on December 7, with the consent of the Police and BNI who encouraged them to send to help them to track the number.
This led to the arrest of an old student of Takoradi Technical Institute (TTI) but he was not connected and later released.
Another GH¢500 was sent with the help of a Pastor to the kidnappers within the second week of kidnapping, which led to the arrest of Sam Udeotuk Wills, a Nigerian on December 22. But he escaped on December 30.
The police officer on duty on the day of his escape was given seven days to produce the accused but within four days, he was recaptured at a hideout at Kansawurodo where some clothes which were confirmed to be those of Priscilla Mantsebea, were found.
On January 4, 2019, relatives and friends of the kidnapped girls as well as Takoradi residents, demanded investigation and prosecution of officers on duty.
The suspect appeared before Takoradi District Court on January 9, on charges of escaping lawful custody, resisting arrest and destroying public property which he pleaded not guilty and was remanded. He reappeared before the court on January 16, on the same charges.
The families of the kidnapped Takoradi girls later gave the police one-week to find the girls or face further demonstrations.
Kidnapping scare hits Takoradi
Kidnapping scare hit Sekondi-Takoradi with several alleged kidnappings.
PRO of the Western Region Command, ASP Olivia Adiku, in an interview with JoyNews on January 22, assured the kidnapped girls’ family of continuous investigation and hinted of new leads.
On January 23, Western Police Commander DCOP Vincent Redeemer Dedjoe held the first official press conference on the kidnapped girls, giving information about how the kidnapping happened and provided updates on investigations.
He also said they are following up on certain leads. Alleged messages from suspect Sam Wills’ phone revealed he had an ongoing relationship with the kidnapped girls, taken some ransom, promised some phones and others.
Residents of Takoradi on January 25, began a street awareness campaign to draw more attention to the saga and also put pressure on the police.
News of other kidnappings scare nearly ended innocent lives.
An example of such was seen on January 28, at Ketan Junction/Ahenkofi, where residents besieged an uncompleted hotel demanding the release of a suspected kidnapper.
The Police PRO on January 28, warned speculative kidnap cases could lead to lynching of innocent persons.
CID boss visits the families
Police CID Boss, DCOP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, visited the families on Saturday, January, 26.
The Minister of Gender, Women and Children Protection, Cynthia Morrison, visited the familieson January 27, with words of hope and safety of the children.
Police assist kidnapped victims’ families with Psychologist.
Friends, relations of the kidnapped girls and Takoradi residents on February 4, held a vigil in demand of the girls.
Police aid suspect to escape
Suspect Samuel Udeotuk Wills revealed on February 11, during his cell break trial that a CID Officer and one Kwesi, aided his escape from cell.
The Western Region Police Command set up an investigation into the escaping of the suspect but the result of the investigation was never known.
Families demand President’s intervention
On February 14, families of the missing girls held a press conference and demanded President Akufo-Addo’s intervention or face more demonstration.
On February 19, at the Takoradi District court, Samuel Wills failed to produce witnesses, John/Kwesi in court after two weeks of adjournments.
A Takoradi-based group called Concerned Mothers Association on February 21, held a float and expressed disappointments with the President’s silence on the kidnapped girls.
The kidnapped girls’ families on March 4, demanded representation in suspect’s escape case.
We know where the girls are – CID
April 2; CID boss Tiwaa Addo-Danquah assured families they knew the whereabouts of the kidnapped girls.
April 23; The kidnapped girls’ families threatened to storm the CID Headquarters for lack of information on whereabouts of their daughters and accused the CID boss of deciet following assurances at the April 2 news conference about the whereabouts of the girls.
April 24; The Kidnapped girls’ families gave IGP and the CID boss an ultimatum to clarify rumours on Daily Guide’s report.
April 29; Samuel Udoetuk Wills, was convicted for 18 months for cell-break.
The case of jailbreak travelled from January to April, causing a lot of anxiety among relatives of the three kidnapped girls and residents.
May 1; Police finally introduced liaison officers to kidnapped girls’ families
May 12; CID Boss confesses earlier statement was just to give police investigators hope and was misunderstood on an Accra-based TV station, Atinka TV.
May 21; Families of the kidnapped girls appeal for the removal of the CID boss.
June 3; Concerned Mothers Association reiterated calls for CID boss’ removal over refusal to apologise for lying on the whereabouts of the kidnapped girls.
June 8; Western Youth for Justice embarked on a demonstration over the saga.
June 12; The Takoradi missing girls’ family welcomed news of the rescue of two Canadian girls kidnapped in Kumasi, Ashanti Region, with disappointment.
June 12; Second Nigerian suspect, John Oji, was arrested in Togo and remanded into custody by Sekondi High Court.
July 7; the Sekondi High Court asked for legal representation for the two suspects.
July 15; Families of Takoradi Kidnapped girls held a press conference in Accra with a threat to demonstrate on August 10.
August 2; Police retrieve human remains from a septic tank behind a house where the prime suspect, Samuel Udotek Wills lived in.
August 6; The fourth skeletal remains were retrieved from a well in an uncompleted building, where the prime suspect was re-arrested.
September 16; The Ag. Inspector of General of Police, James Oppong-Boanuh said at a press conference that, the results of the DNA test on remains retrieved in Takoradi have been confirmed to be those of the girls.
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