"Your Worship, I thought I was sleeping with my wife, as the room was dark," pleaded 49-year-old Kwaku Otu when he appeared before the Akyem Swedru Circuit Court for allegedly impregnating his 19-year-old daughter.
The court, presided over by Mr Kofi Aktowiah; dismissed Otu's plea of guilty with explanation and remanded him in prison custody to re-appear on January 14, 2010.
Presenting the facts of the case at the crowded court last Tuesday, Detective Inspector Kwaku Appiah of the Oda Divisional Police Command, said about six months ago the victim's mother, Madam Amma Tenadu attended a funeral at her home town, Gomoa Potsifi in the Central Region and spent some time .there.
He said on her return, the woman noticed some changes in her daughter, indicating that she was pregnant, and questioned her about the man responsible for it. To her surprise, her daughter mentioned Otu, a farmer of Asibrim, near Akyem Akroso in the Eastern Region.
The prosecutor stated that Madam Tenadu did not believe the news so she informed her brother, Kobina Otabil about it.
When the two confronted the victim on the issue, she confirmed that her father had impregnated her.
According to him, Otabil said it was a taboo in their tradition for a father to put her biological daughter in the family way so they reported the matter to the Akrosohene, Nana Kwabena Ofori II, who is the owner of the land.
Inspector Appiah stated that the Akrosohene arbitrated the case at his palace and fined Otu GH¢400 and two sheep to pacify the victim’s family and the defiled land.
He said the chief gave Otu two weeks to pay the fine, but as he could not do so at the appointed time, he was given two more weeks to pay it.
Inspector Appiah stated that media practitioners had a hint of the case and went to the Akrosohene's palace that day to see what was going on.
He said for fear that the reporters would make the outcome of the case public, the chief . advised that the matter be sent to the Akroso Police Station.
According to him, realizing that case was very serious, the Akroso police referred the matter the case to the Oda Divisional Police Command for further investigations and the necessary action.
After thorough police investigations, Otu was put before the Akyem Swedru Circuit Court.
In his explanation, Otu said as he slept in the same dark bedroom with his wife and his daughter, he thought he was sleeping with his wife, not knowing it was rather his own daughter.
The society of Ghana Women Medical and Dental Practitioners has marked the annual 16 days of gender activicism with a call on all stakeholders to unite and and totally eliminate all forms of gender based violence.
This year's event which was marked with a procession and a talk was done in collaboration with the wives associations of the Police,Prisons and the Armed Forces.The annual international event is aimed at highlighting gender base issues globally.
Dr.Mabel Aboah ,the president of the society advised women to consult women groups such as theirs,FIDA among others to help address some of their grievance on domestic violence.
She added that,the society's decision to mark this year's celebrations with the wives associations of the security services is to help address the many forms of gender violence that goes on in the various barracks.
The society of Ghana Women Medical and Dental Practitioners was established in 1965 after the woman medical practitioners was trained. The organization is mainly involved in activities such as medical outreach and advocacy on gender based issues.
Notably among their contributions to National development is the establishment of the Womens World Clinic at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra for screening of women and the drafting of the domestic Violence Bill which has now been passed into law.The society is an affiliate of the Medical Women International Association.
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