Ghana sentences 2 Nigerian to death


A Sekondi high court in Ghana on Friday sentenced Samuel Udoetuk Wills and John Orji to death for the alleged kidnap and murder of four Takoradi girls in 2018.

The judgement comes after a seven-member jury found them guilty on all the eight counts of conspiracy to kidnap and murder after about two years of hearing the case.

Richard Agyei Frimpong, the presiding judge, said the suspects have the right to appeal the ruling within a 30-day window.

However, if they refuse the option or fail in their appeal, they will join over 160 people who have been sentenced to death since 1993 in Ghana.

This case, which is of huge interest to the public particularly the twin cities of Sekondi-Takoradi, is fixated on the president of Ghana to sign the death warrant as the Ghanaian 1992 constitution provides that any death sentence will have to be signed by the president to make it effective.

The two Nigerians were accused of kidnapping and subsequently killing Ruth Abakah aged 19; Priscilla Blessing Bentum (21); Ruth Love Quayson (18) and Priscilla Koranchie (15).

The girls were captured between July and December 2018 at different locations, including Kansawurodo, Butumagyebu, Nkroful junction all in Sekondi-Takoradi of the western region in Ghana.

On January 4, 2019, after months of fruitless checks, relatives, friends and some residents went on a demonstration demanding justice.

Still searching for the girls, the police finally discovered their bones in a septic tank in the house of the lead suspect, Wills. A DNA test confirmed that they were indeed the remains of the four girls.

After their remains were discovered and further investigations were conducted including results of the DNA samples taken from their families, Wills and Orji were charged with conspiracy and murder.