Pressure is mounting on the police to find three girls who have been kidnapped in the Western Region town of Takoradi.
The girls – from separate families – were taken from various locations in the town since last year and nothing has been heard about their whereabouts.
Priscilla Blessing Bentum, 21, was the first to be taken in August 2018. The student left home for choir practice but never returned. Her worried father reported her disappearance to the police 24 hours later. It is now known that she was abducted at Kansaworodo, a suburb of Takoradi, an oil-rich town.
Four months later, Ruth Love Quayeson also disappeared.
The 18-year-old took a cab ride from her home in Diabene to the Butumagyedu Junction and never returned.
Priscilla Mantebea Koranchie, 15, was last seen on December 21, 2018. She told her younger siblings she was taking a walk to a nearby town, Nkroful and since then no one has heard from here.
The parents and other residents who have lost their children through similar means on January 4, staged a protest in the town demanding action from the police whose lackadaisical approach to the issue, they believe, is the reason their children remain missing.
While residents say seven teenage girls have been kidnapped, police refute this claim and say only three girls have been reported kidnapped.
Photo: One of the missing girl’s parents
A Nigerian – Samuel Udoetuk Wills – is the prime suspect in the matter and has been in, out and in of police custody, but the police have not been able to gather any meaningful information on the whereabouts of the girls.
Samuel broke cells and was re-arrested after a manhunt.
Earlier this week on Joy News when pressure started mounting, the head of police in the region, DCOP Redeemer Vincent Dedjoe said they have run out of options in getting the suspect to talk.
Photo: The suspect – Samuel Udoetuk Wills - is part of a syndicate of kidnappers
The suspect, apart from leading the police on a wild goose chase in the Central region, has given no information that will lead to the rescue of the girls.
DCOP Dedjoe said all methods prescribed by law have been exhausted but Samuel has refused to tell the police where the young girls are although a headscarf and a dress belonging to one of the missing girls were found at his hideout where he was re-arrested.
Photo: A relative of one of the girls
“We have tried all means to talk to him. In the initial stages, he took us to Kasoa [Central region suburb] and we combed the whole of Kasoa yet he could not lead us to where the victims are.
“He is not even ready to talk. He will tell you he doesn’t know where the victims are,” Dedjoe told Gifty Andoh Appiah on The Pulse, Tuesday.
Photo: Western regional police commander, DCOP Redeemer Vincent Dedjoe
Samuel, police have now found out, is part of a kidnapping syndicate that includes his brother. They operate mainly in Nigeria and recently Ghana. Samuel and his brother have both served jail terms in Nigeria for kidnapping.
Police are certain that Samuel has the girls because investigations have shown that he, prior to their disappearance, was in constant touch with them.
He promised the first and second victims jobs and the third, a mobile phone.
The police have called for patience and urged the families of the missing girls to trust and give them time to carry out their duties which will eventually lead to the rescue of the girls.