The Tamale High Court has sentenced Sherina Mohammed, aka Hajia Filipina, 40, and Latifah Bumaye, 25, to a combined 24 years’ imprisonment for the gruesome lynching of Akua Denteh on suspicion of witchcraft at Kafaba near East Gonja Municipality of the Savannah Region.
The two were initially charged with murder and trial by ordeal, but the murder charge was later changed to manslaughter following an application by their counsel.
Though they had pleaded not guilty, they later changed their pleas to guilty to the two counts and were convicted on their pleas.
The court, presided over by Justice Richard Kogyapwah, sentenced them to 12 years’ imprisonment on each count.
The sentences are to run concurrently so they will both serve 12 years in jail.
In July 2020, the gruesome lynching of Akua Denteh on suspicion of witchcraft, which sparked outrage, occurred at Kafaba near Salaga in the East Gonja Municipality of the Savannah Region.
Some seven persons were arrested in connection with the gruesome lynching at the time.
The Executive Director of Songtaba, Madam Lamnatu Adam, has commended the court for finally pronouncing judgment on the case and giving the late Akua Denteh justice.
“We are excited that at least for once witchcraft accusation has gotten the justice it deserves,” she stated.
She, however, lamented about the lack of compensation for the family of the late Akua Denteh, who have been travelling from Salaga to Tamale for the trial for the past three years.
“The family has lost money and committed resources throughout this three years of trial, especially travelling from Salaga to Tamale each time the case was to be heard, and so I think we should also look at what compensation should go to the family,” she added.
Hajia Lamnatu hinted that the anti-witchcraft coalition is working with Parliament for the passage of the bill to criminalise witchcraft accusation.