The two fetish priests who have been arrested in connection with the heinous crimes have reportedly confessed killing two people and burying them at the shrine.
The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service yesterday held a news conference detailing the circumstances under which at least two people were killed by the suspects.
CID Boss DCOP Ken Yeboah officially mentioned the names of the fetish priests as Christian Lawoe Gameli aka Power-One, 36, and Famous Adukonu aka Scorpion, 37, both from Afife in the Volta Region.
He said they 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.
The suspects allegedly confessed to the murder of a 64-year-old ex-soldier, Edward Quartey Papafio, a Biochemist Consultant from Kasoa in the Central Region and also killed one Kwashie Zormelo, a mason whose service was engaged by the fetish priests.
According to the CID, Zormelo also resided at Kasoa.
He said the two fetish priests have been remanded in police custody by a court in Accra and investigation is ongoing.
The CID boss said that the fetish priests were armed because the police retrieved two pump action guns, a single barrel gun together with 11 packets full of cartridges from Christian Lawoe’s room.
“On April 29, 2020 both suspects admitted having interacted with the missing person, Edward Quartey Papafio, for some time, but he was later shot and killed on January 15, 2020 at their shrine,” he added.
The CID boss said, “The suspects reiterated that the first body was buried at a particular spot within the shrine and led the police to the scene,” adding “the area was secured for an exhumation order to be granted by the court.”
“On April 30, 2020, the police, including a pathologist, personnel of the crime scene management unit, forensic science laboratory, Drone and CID operation unit went to Maame Dede and executed the exhumation order granted by the court,” he stated.
DCOP Yeboah said, “On arrival, the two suspects led the police to the scene behind the house which has been walled with a small entry but no exit where the two identified the deceased’s grave,” adding “the pathologist retrieved a decomposed body from the grave.”
“A second decomposed body whose name suspect Christian Gamele Lawoe aka Power gave as Kwashie Zormelo from Kasoa was also retrieved from another grave,” he said.
He indicated that the team later exhumed human parts, hairs, attachments, beads suspected to be that of a woman and other bones from a third grave all within the same perimeter.
A decomposed body with bones wrapped in a cloth buried among the bodies was also retrieved from the yard.
According to the CID boss, investigations later established that in December 2019, the two suspects conspired to kill the biochemist.
“The suspects, therefore, lured the victim into the shrine and succeeded in collecting about GH¢10,000 from him under the pretext that they were going to fortify him spiritually to enable his company to flourish,” he added.
“On January 15, 2020 the suspect invited the biochemist on phone to come for the last purification rites and in the process shot and killed him.
“Suspect Gameli Lawoe aka Power after committing the crime took possession of the deceased’s Itel and Nokia mobile phones which he kept with Charity Dakudzi, his third wife at Mensah Ba, Oyibi.
“He later led police to the said house where the deceased’s two mobile phones were retrieved together with his bunch of keys,” he said, adding “suspect Famous Adukonu aka Scorpion on the other hand intimated that he shot and killed Papafio on that fateful day with pump action gun belonging to his accomplice.”
DCOP Yeboah said the suspects also admitted having collected all monies on Papafio before killing him.
“Further investigations established that suspect Christian Gameli murdered Kwashie Zormelo, a Togolese but resident at Kasoa and one of his masons sometime February 2020 when the victim, demanded money the suspect owed him,” he said.
The decomposed bodies, human remains and bones have been deposited at the Police Hospital mortuary awaiting post-mortem and anthropological and DNA examination.