Gender advocate, Angela Dwamena Aboagye says the state institutions are being “irresponsible” by their failure to follow up on a defilement case at Assin Adadientem village in the Assin North District of the Central Region.
According to the Executive Director of The Ark Foundation Ghana an NGO, a protocol detailing the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act 2007 (Act 732), has been left to collect dust.
Handling such a case the gender champion noted, should not be constrained by the excuse of lack of policy or structures because: “We have a national action plan policy that spells clearly how these cases should be tackled.”
“Defilement is endemic in this country; sexual assault is endemic [and] marital assault is endemic,” she stated to press home the need for proactive responses from state institutions in dealing with such cases.
The four-year-old victim, a preschooler, named one Kwabena in the village as the perpetrator of the crime but District Police Commander, Chief Supt. Henry Bacho says they are waiting for her father to lead them to the suspect because his officers do not know the area.
Sounding frustrated by the “state’s irresponsibility” in taking the matter up, Mrs. Dwamena Aboagye remarked on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM Thursday, that the country should not find itself "hopeless and helpless" when it comes to handling domestic violence cases because "we [Ghana] lead many countries in these things."
Unfortunately, it is "when it comes to when we will act and how we will act, that is where we have problems,” she complained.
The village chief, Nana Aboboyaa whom the victim’s mother earlier reported the matter to, dismissed the woman and told her that the gods of the village have declared the alleged perpetrator innocent.
Nana Oye Lithur
Meanwhile, former Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur is demanding timely action from the Department of Social Welfare and conduct social protection inquiry and seek justice for the victim and her mother.
“We cannot make assumptions now, the key issue is for the social welfare to conduct a social inquiry report…then we can recommend her relocation,” she said.
She charged the police to rise to their responsibility because they have “a job to do and now the whole of the country is looking up to them.”
“They cannot give excuses about it,” the immediate past Gender Minister remarked.
Meanwhile, Joy News has learnt that Nana Aboboyaa, known privately as John Mensah, is a cousin to Kwabena, the 17-year-old suspect.
Joy News' findings also reveal that father of the victim, Isaac Kofi is the chief's linguist.
However, Joy News Correspondent Richard Kwadwo Nyarko Thursday that the chief has indicated his decision to remove the victim’s father as his linguist as a result of the accusation of concealment against him.