Police investigations have revealed that the two teenage Ghanaian boys currently in court on allegations that the killed a 10-year-old friend ostensibly to use his body for money rituals had the idea and inspiration from the several self acclaimed voodoo and juju money makes and money doubling spiritualists who advertise their services to the general public on free-to-air Ghanaian television stations.
The two murder suspect Felix Nyarko aged 15 and Nicholas Kini aged 17 were in court on yesterday Tuesday April 6, but were asked to be put on remand in police custody and expected to make a second appearance in court on April 20, 2021.
The police prosecutor, Inspector Japhet Agyeman, in presenting his case to the court said investigations so far have revealed that 15 year old Felix first got the idea to kill the10 year old boy after he had watched several spiritualist on television who claimed they had money making powers.
Felix then discussed the idea with his 17-year-old friend, Nicholas, who bought into it and said he already knew of another spiritualist in the Volta Region who could help them get what they wanted.
The said spiritualist, when contacted demanded a human being for sacrifice and an amount of GHC5,000 for the money rituals.
According to the fact sheets, “the 1st accused [Felix Nyarko] has been watching Ghana Television channels that entertain mallams and other spiritualists to promote their prowess in making people instant millionaires.
“He informed the 2nd accused [Nicholas Kini] who advised that there is a certain spiritualist in Volta Region who can do it for them.
The “2nd accused, who is not having a phone, provided the phone number of the said spiritualist to the 1st accused, who has access to his mother’s phone.
“After contacting the said spiritualist, she agreed to help if only they can provide a human being and cash sum of GHS5,000 for the rituals”
The incident has sparked a national uproar and calls for stricter regulations to ensure television contents are based on age and time specific.
Classification of TV Content
Meanwhile Mr. Socrate Sarfo, Chairman of the Film Classification Committee (FCC) says though his outfit hase taken steps to ensure decency on television screens in a bid to protect the public interest and ensure content with negative influences are not shows to children, the relevant stakeholders have not shows the requisite cooperation and support.
He said , the Committee had engaged some owners of television stations as well as the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) to explain their responsibilities to them, which includes the categorization, classification, standardization, and preview of film content intended for viewership but stakeholder continue to find excuses to postpone the issue of classification.
“We have engaged stakeholders over the past months and we have arrived at a consensus as to what our mandate entails and that we are not here to control, approve or pass their contents but we are only to classify what content they decide to put out.
“So by classification doesn’t mean we are exercising control but whatever you decide to put out must be classified to an audience and that is what the law says,’’ he said.
Mr. Sarfo was however worried about the inappropriate times some contents appeared on the screens and assured the general public that the Committee would take the necessary actions to address the issue and safeguard the public interest.
CitiNews reports that the the Executive Director of Child Rights International, Bright Appiah, had expressed concern with the exposure of children to inappropriate content on both traditional and social media following the suspected ritual killing of Ishmael Mensah at Kasoa.
It said Bright Appiah called on the government to properly regulate the media space to prevent unwholesome content that could contribute to such dastardly acts.
“For children to engage in this kind of practice, it shows that, children are being exposed to acts that make them believe that overnight, they can make money,” Mr. Appiah said.
He stressed that adequate policies need to be put in place “so that we can limit the activities of other people, especially the media when it comes to TV for showing adverts that portray people in a certain way in terms of money rituals and other things. It is important for the system to be regulated otherwise, we will continue to see these kinds of acts,” he said.