General News Tue, 29 Apr 1997

Body Of 15-month Baby To Be Exhumed

Tema The Tema community tribunal on Monday granted an application by the Police for the body of a 15-month-old boy who died in mysterious circumstances to be exhumed for autopsy. The tribunal chaired by Mr John Akparibo remanded a 37-year-old driver, Iddrisu Alhassan in custody to help the Police to trace where the body of Haruna Alhassan who was staying with him (the father) was buried. He pleaded not guilty of failing to report the death of his son in his house and burying him without the consent of medical doctors and would re-appear on May 12.

Prosecuting, Police Chief Inspector Comfort Armah told the tribunal that on October 23, 1996 Iddrisu approached his wife with a request that they should sacrifice their little son, Haruna, for rituals to enable them get more money but this was rejected by the woman.

She said this brought about a quarrel between Iddrisu and his wife, which ended up with the accused sacking her from the marital home, and forcing her to leave their two boys with him. The prosecution told the tribunal that on December 25, 1996, the woman visited her mother-in-law in Accra, and met the eldest son, Amadu Iddrisu, aged eight years in the house. When she enquired about the little boy, she was told that the accused did not rpt not bring him along.


Inspector Armah said the woman became alarmed, and rushed to Ashaiman Newtown where they were staying to find the boy, but to her dismay, Iddrisu had packed all his things from the room and his whereabouts was not known by neighbours. She said on December 28, 1996, the woman reported the case to the Ashaiman police who advised her to look out for her husband and report to them whenever she sets eyes on him. On March eight, 1997, the woman spotted the accused near a store, while she was going to market. She therefore raised an alarm and by the help of some passers-by, Iddrisu was arrested and sent to the Police Station.

Inspector Armah said during interrogations, the accused in his caution statement refused to show the Police where he had sent the son, but later claimed that he had sent him to a sister in the Gonja area where he comes from. Further investigations by the Police revealed that Haruna died on December 26, 1996 and was buried by Iddrisu alone at Ashaiman Newtown without informing anybody, the prosecution added. Iddrisu told the tribunal that he slept with his son who was not sick, but when he woke up in the morning, he found him dead, so he decided to bury him, since he was his own son.

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