Priscilla Blessing Bentum, Priscilla Mantebea Kuranchie and Ruth Love Quayson
It is being claimed that the place, where the police exhumed the second skeleton as part of investigations into the missing Takoradi girls in the Western Region, used to be an old cemetery.
However, the Assemblyman of the Nkroful-Fijai Electoral Area, Mark Cudjoe, told DAILY GUIDE yesterday that he had not been to the spot where the police conducted the second exhumation exercise, and he could not be sure whether that portion forms part of the area where the cemetery used to be at Nkroful Junction in Takoradi. But some residents have claimed that the Nkroful area of Takoradi used to be a cemetery.
The first exhumation, where three skeletons were believed to have been discovered from the septic tank behind the uncompleted house where the key Nigerian suspect, Samuel Udoetuk Wills, had been living, was at Kansaworodo in Takoradi which is about 15 minutes’ drive from Nkroful Junction, and that place is not part of the old cemetery.
Already, the spokesperson for the families of the three girls, Michael Grant Hayford, appears to be watering down the key discovery of the second human remains by claiming the spot used to be a cemetery.
“Let me tell you today, the Anaji-Kansawrodo road used to be a cemetery and when the road was being constructed, the cemetery was destroyed and buried bodies removed. So several people went there and dug sand and carted them to their homes as filling. So when it comes to Nkroful-Kansawrodo area there are plenty of skeletons there… So we believe the skeletons found by the police are not that of our daughters and sisters,” he said.
“If it is skeletons the police are looking for, they should continue searching that area and they will find more bones there. But we are not looking for bones; we are looking for our daughters and sisters,” he added.
Having said they would refuse any police request for DNA tests to be conducted to ascertain the discovered human remains, the families were said to have agreed to co-operate with the police eventually.
Priscilla Bentum, Ruth Love Quayson and Priscilla Kuranchie have been missing for about a year now and two suspects from Nigeria are being held responsible for their kidnappings.
Michael Hayford Grant confirmed on radio that the families would now avail themselves for samples to be taken by forensic experts.
“It was a very tough decision…The entire nation is interested in this. We want the police to do their work and do the test and come up with the results. Out of the results, the family will know the decision that will come out,” he said, adding “since the police want to do their investigations, we want to give them the benefit of the doubt for them to do it (investigations)…We have come to the conclusion that we want to do it.”
Already, the police are said to be looking at possibilities that the Nigerians being held in connection with the case might be serial killers.
The reason is that the key suspect, Samuel Udoetuk Wills, who has given the security agencies a tough time in revealing the whereabouts of the girls – more than six months after his arrest – is said to have given a slight hint of what might have happened to the girls.
A thorough search on their social media accounts – particularly Facebook – suggested that the gang had been communicating in coded language which is pointing to rituals, including the use of blood for sacrifice.
Prosecutors from the Attorney General’s Department, who have put the two Nigerians on trial at the Sekondi High Court, indicated at the last trial that the Facebook chats of the two accused persons, from the mobile phone of Samuel Udoetuk Wills, also revealed discussions on drugs which could be administered to victims to throw them into stupor, apart from the issues of blood used for sacrifice.
Based on the preliminary investigations, the prosecution was able to present to the court a provisional fact sheet which suggested that apart from kidnapping, the police were also looking at serial murderers.
Since the ‘breakthrough’, the police have been working around the clock to crack the case and it was one of such efforts last Friday that resulted in the exhumation of skeletons believed to be three from the septic tank at Kansaworodo and another in a well at Nkroful Junction.
The kidnappers appeared to have initially sent the police on a wild goose chase and some CID detectives have since been risking their lives outside Ghana including travelling to Nigeria and other dangerous places undercover to get to the bottom of the case.
Last week, when the case was called at the Sekondi High Court, the prosecution said Samuel Udoetuk Wills, in the wake of the kidnappings, was shuttling between Takoradi in the Western Region and Koforidua in the Eastern Region where his girlfriend lives.
The prosecution mentioned the name of the fiancée as Emily Alimo who lives at Atekyem, a surburb of Koforidua. He said the suspect spent at least three weeks with her before returning to Takoradi.
According to the prosecution, it was the girlfriend who subsequently gave the particulars of the Facebook account of the suspect.