A Pathologist at the Ghana Police Hospital, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Dr. Osei Owusu-Afriyie has testified that the 11-year-old boy who was allegedly killed for money rituals at Kasoa was buried alive.
Being led in evidence by Dorcas Felli, a Senior State Attorney (SSA), the seventh prosecution witness said the victim died from “severe head injury from blunt trauma.”
He disclosed that the cause of death was “Asphyxiation (inability to breathe).”
He also explained that, when a person cannot breathe, the lungs get hyper-inflated and the body gets “blue” which was due to the premature burial following a blunt head injury.
“I concluded that he had a severe head injury from blunt trauma.”
“My lady, the significant findings are massive swollen on the right side of the neck and right side of the head with fracture of the bones on the right side of the head, with bleed and swelling over the right side of the brain. My lady, there were also hyper-inflated lungs and ‘blueing’ of the body.
The pathologist is the second prosecution witness to testify that the victim was buried alive.
In October 2023, the investigator in the case, Chief Inspector Isaac Asiedu Odei, testified that the 10-year-old boy was buried alive.
A 15-year-old accused has been charged alongside an 18-year-old for the murder of the 11-year-old boy.
The two have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and murder, and are currently standing trial at the court presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo.
During cross-examination, Samuel Atuah, defence counsel asked the prosecution witness whether he implied that the victim was buried alive.
In his response, Dr Owusu-Afriyie, said “The deceased was unconscious which might been construed by a lay person as dead.
Explaining what caused the unconsciousness, the Pathologist said there was a severe head injury.
“Severe head injury secondary to blunt head trauma. The findings of the severe head injury include; massive external swelling on the right side of the head, fracture of the bones on the right side of the head and bleeding with associated swelling of the brain on the right side of the brain,” Dr Owusu-Afriyie said.
The prosecution indicated to the court that it had closed its case following the testimony and further cross-examination of its witness.
The Court held that a prima face case had been established against the accused persons adding: “I will call upon them to make a defence on the next adjourned date.
The case has been adjourned to December 20, 2023.
According to the prosecution, on March 29, 2021, the accused persons consulted a spiritualist for money rituals locally known as “sakawa”.
The said spiritualist, who claimed to be in the Volta Region, was said to have requested GH¢5,000 and a human being to perform the rituals.
On April 3, 2021, the accused persons, according to the prosecution, decided to use the deceased in furtherance of their “sakawa” mission.
At about 9 a.m. on the same day, the prosecutor said, the juvenile accused lured the deceased into an uncompleted building where the second accused had laid ambush with the club of a pickaxe.
“As soon as the deceased arrived, they told him to remove a video game from a sack they had deposited in a corner of the room.
“When the deceased bent down in an attempt to remove the said video game from the sack, the second accused struck him at the back of his neck with the club, causing him to fall,” Nana Osei said.
The deceased, she said, turned to look at the juvenile accused and pleaded with him not to kill him but forgive him if he had offended him but his plea was ignored by the juvenile accused who struck the head of the deceased with a cement block which was in the building. As a result, the deceased became unconscious but was still breathing.
The accused persons, the prosecution said, further used a spade and a shovel to dig a shallow grave in the room and buried the deceased intending to convey him to the spiritualist.