Ghana, Volta Region: two fetish priests engage in ritual killing practices

Two fetish priests in the Eastern Region (Volta Region) have been apprehended and are suspected to be ritual killers. The article below is a follow-up on my posting of May 4.

Allegedly, a link exists with Togo, where the two men are hailing from. On this site I have presented several cases of ritual murders committed in Ghana. Ritual murder cases are seldom reported from Togo. This does not mean that in this country ritual practices and murders are non-existent. I suspect that it is more a question of under-reporting. There is no reason to believe that ritual murders do not occur in francophone African countries.

Unfortunately, there exists a bias in my reports on ritual murder cases across the African continent. The case presented below is another reason to be more vigilant and more balanced in my reporting on this site (webmaster FVDK).

How Fetish Priests Killed Ex-Soldier And Buried Him Including Others

The scene where the bodies were exhumed

Published: May 4, 2020
By: Modern Ghana 

Details are emerging about how a special police team raided a shrine in the Eastern Region and exhumed headless human remains from the place.

At least three bodies were found buried in shallow graves when the special team raided the shrine where body parts were also found scattered all over the place. 

Two fetish priests, namely Christian Lawoe Gameli aka Power-One, 40, and Famous Adukonu aka Scorpion, 36, who were operating a shrine called ‘Power 1 Herbal & Spiritual Centre’ located at Adu Kwadwo and Kofi Nyarko villages near Maame Dede Junction on the Nsawam to Adeiso road in the Upper West Akyem District of the Eastern Region, were arrested and brought to Accra during the raid. 

The taxi driver, who was arrested alongside both fetish priests last Thursday, had been named as Allotey, and they were being detained by the police for ritual murder, fraud and the production of fake currencies. 

The arrest is coming at a time when there are swelling allegations of collaboration between fetish priests, some spiritualists and some fake pastors in the country. 

Old Soldier

It is turning out that at least one of the victims is believed to be a retired soldier, and his disappearance triggered intense police investigation that led to the raid. 

The suspects allegedly murdered the 64-year-old ex-soldier, Edward Quartey Papafio, from Accra, who reportedly went to the shrine two weeks ago to seek spiritual help from the priests. 

The soldier’s phone led investigators to the shrine, according to police sources. 

He was reported to have been duped by the suspects who told him to go and come back in some days. 

The old soldier later informed his wife and son, who was also a serving soldier, about the incident before visiting the shrine on the second attempt. 

Shooting Incident

DAILY GUIDE gathered that when he went back to the shrine to confront them, the suspects asked him to sit somewhere in the shrine and in the process they shot him, killing him instantly. 

They then buried him at the back of the shrine in the dress that he was wearing. 

The deceased’s wife who was not hearing from him started calling his mobile phone several times, but the calls didn’t go through. 

Police Intervention

The deceased soldier’s son went to the community in search of his late father before reporting the matter to the police CID, who also deployed some investigators to the community to gather more facts. 

Their Roots

The fetish priests, as gathered, hail from Togo and came to stay at Suhum, but moved to settle in the current village about five years ago. 

They have reportedly built two shrines and a hotel at separate locations during their short stay in the area and are said to be feared by the people. 

Modus Operandi

They usually run advertisement and talk shows on Starr TV, a private television station based in Koforidua, to lure their clients who want to turn millionaires overnight. 

They are said to have used their so-called powers to ‘dupe’ many clients and normally charge not less than GH¢1,000 as ‘participating’ fees. 

Serial Killing

Some residents have made wild claims that a lot of people who visited the shrine vanished afterwards whenever the clients tried to fight back after being felt duped by the fetish priests. 

The suspects, after the heinous crimes, allegedly bury the victims in their dresses in a manhole at the back of the shrine, and others in the rituals room after removing their parts. 

They further claimed that some kids have been reported missing in the community ever since the duo settled in the area. 

Some even alleged that the suspects usually ‘camped’ their clients who threaten to expose them when they failed to perform what they promise to do for them. 

Some of the victims reportedly managed to escape and filed complaints at the police station at Adeiso, but the suspects were never arrested and questioned. 

Marching Suspects

The police upon arresting the suspects marched them to the spots where they suspected the remains had been buried, and the suspects allegedly pointed to those spots for the bodies to be exhumed. 

At around 11:00am on Thursday, the police used an excavator to dig the graveyard and also pulled down the walls of the shrine before exhuming fresh human skulls and plenty of bones. 

The exhumation exercise ended around 4pm.

There are wild rumours in the village that a certain Kwashie Zormelo (age unknown) from Kasoa may have also been murdered by the suspects. 

DAILY GUIDE understands the CID will be addressing the media on the matter at 2pm today.

Source:  How Fetish Priests Killed Ex-Soldier And Buried Him Including Others

Related article:

How two fetish priests murdered and buried a biochemist, others at their shrine

Published: May 4, 2020
By: MyJoyOnLine

Two traditional priests are in the custody of the police for allegedly killing a biochemist consultant and siphoning what is suspected to be his blood into a gallon.

The deceased Edward Quartey-Papafio, 64, had left his house on January 15, 2020, at about 3:30 am after receiving a phone call. 

According to the Director-General of the CID, COP Isaac Yeboah, after police investigations, it was discovered that the deceased was last spotted in Adeisu, near Nsawam in the Eastern region.

The police intensified investigation, and on April 21, 2020, they arrested suspects Christian Gameli Lawerh alias Power, 36, and Famous Adorkunu alias Scorpion, 37.

Both fetish priests hail from the Volta region but reside at Maame Dede near Adeisu.

After a search was conducted at their residences, police retrieved two pump action guns, a single barrel gun, together with eleven packets of cartridges from Lawerh’s room.

On April 29, both suspects admitted having interacted with the missing person for some time, but he was later shot and killed on January 15, 2020, at their shrine.

The suspects reiterated that the deceased was buried at a particular spot within the shrine and led police to the scene. The area was secured for an exhumation order to be granted by the court.

On April 30, the police including pathologists and other forensic experts went to Maame Dede and executed the exhumation.

The pathologists retrieved the decomposed body from a grave.

A second decomposed body whose name the suspect Gameli gave as Kwesi Zomelo also from Kasoa was retrieved from a separate grave.

The team later exhumed human parts, hair attachments, bead (belonging to a woman, police suspect), and bones from a third grave within the same perimeter.

A decomposed human flesh with bones wrapped in a cloth buried among the bodies was also retrieved from another grave. The team in addition retrieved human skulls together with bones, suspected to be human, hidden under two ‘idols’ in the house.

Investigations have so far established that on December 2019, the two conspired to murder Edward Quartey-Papafio, according to police.

They are alleged to have lured the deceased to their shrine and succeeded in collecting cash amounting to 10,000 Ghana cedis from him with a promise to fortify the deceased spiritually to enable his company to flourish.

On January 15, they invited Quartey-Papafio to the shrine for what they claimed to be the final purification rites but in the process they shot, killed and buried his body.

Police say after committing the crime, Lawerh took possession of the deceased’s Itel and Nokia mobile phones and handed them to his third wife, together with a bunch of keys.

Police say the second suspect Adorkunu, has confessed that he shot and killed Mr. Quartey-Papafio.

He also confessed to killing Zomelo and one of his masons after the deceased demanded money owed him.

According to COP Isaac Ken Yeboah, the remains exhumed from the shrine have been deposited at the Police Hospital Mortuary awaiting DNA testing and identification.

The suspects have been remanded and are awaiting trial.

Source: How two fetish priests murdered and buried a biochemist, others at their shrine

Headless corpses raise ritual killing fear in Togo (2007 articles)

Published: September 21, 2007
By: John Zodzi – Reuters

LOME (Reuters) – Six grisly murders in Togo in which the victims were decapitated and drained of their blood have raised fears of a resurgence of ritual killings ahead of parliamentary elections in the West African state next month. 

The serial killings occurred last weekend in the southern Vo and Lacs prefectures, east of the capital Lome. The victims included a 12-year-old boy and a 63-year-old woman and their severed heads were carried off by the killers. 

The discovery of the headless corpses has shocked Togolese and triggered a wave of speculation that the killings were ritual murders. This is a practice still found in parts of Africa in which people kill to obtain body parts and blood in the belief they will bring social success and political power. 

Police announced the arrest of four suspects, including one from neighboring Benin, the West African home of the ancient Voodoo religion, who confessed to killing the 12-year-old boy. 

Togo holds legislative elections on October 14, and international observers hope they will strengthen the weak grip of democracy in the small former French colony, which like Benin is wedged between Nigeria and Ghana on the Gulf of Guinea. 

In a society where traditional beliefs still have influence, some Togolese saw a link between the killings and the ambitions of aspiring candidates for next month’s polls. 

“Some of these deputies are ready to do anything to keep their seats and you hear that they’re carrying out sacrifices,” said Joel Attigan, a geography student. 

Others saw the murders as linked to a desire for social advancement. 

“There are too many young rich people in Togo these days. These crimes are linked to these kind of people, who sometimes use human sacrifices to obtain their goals,” said Da Mensa, the manager of a bar and restaurant in Lome. 

Togo’s media have joined the feverish debate, blaming shadowy religious sects in Togo and Benin. 

“We are in Africa, and spilled human blood can reveal many things,” the newspaper Le Magnan Libere said, referring to the witchcraft practice of using blood or body parts for divining or influencing the future. 

The police have been cautious about confirming the ritual killing hypothesis. 

But they said the arrested Benin citizen, Roger Kodjo Hounguiya, had confessed that he was working for a fellow countryman, Jean Goudjo, wanted in Benin for grisly murders involving mutilation. 

The European Union, which froze most of its aid to Togo in 1993 citing the poor democratic record of then President Gnassingbe Eyadema, is sending electoral observers to the polls next month. Eyadema died in 2005 and his son is now president.

Source: Headless corpses raise ritual killing fear in Togo

Related article:

‘Gang behind’ Togo’s beheadings

Published: September 28, 2007, 10:34 GMT 11:34 UK 
By: BBC

Togolese police say they are probing what could be a cross-border network of killers after six beheadings in Togo and one in Benin earlier this month.

One of four suspects has admitted he belongs to a gang wanted in Benin for similar crimes, Togolese police say.

The victims were all attacked over a two-day period and their decapitated bodies were drained of blood.

A BBC correspondent says there are fears these are ritual murders for witchcraft purposes ahead of Christmas.

In some traditional practices, human body parts are used in the belief that they make charms more powerful.

According to Togo’s police chief Col Damehane Yark, one of the four suspects in custody has also admitted to killing the youngest victim, a 12-year-old schoolgirl.

The BBC’s Edow Godwin in the Togolese capital, Lome, says the killers struck in the southern districts of Vo and Lac, in Maritime province that borders Benin.

At the same time a teenage girl was beheaded in Benin, 65km from the city of Cotonou in similar circumstances.

Source: ‘Gang behind’ Togo’s beheadings