A MAN at Akaa Buem in the Jasikan District of the Oti Region has been arrested by the police investigating allegations of recent child abuse captured in a video that went viral on social media.
Richard Kofi was picked up in the community at about 3:30pm on Wednesday, The Fourth Estate reported yesterday, and added that the wife of the child abuser was also arrested.
Earlier, the police denied having arrested the suspect, asserting that they were following a number of leads as part of the ongoing investigation to track down the individual involved.
“The Police are following a number of leads as part of the ongoing investigation to track down the individual involved in the child abuse video which has gone viral on social media.
“No confirmed arrest has yet been made in connection with the case. Our intelligence teams and experts from the Police Cyber Crime Unit are working around the clock to resolve the case,” the police indicated in a statement.
But The Fourth Estate reported it could confirm the arrest of the man, who was seen in the video manhandling and molesting the toddler, in contravention of the Children’s Act 1998 (Act 560).
Section 13 (1) of the Act says, “No person shall subject a child to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including any cultural practice which dehumanises or is injurious to the physical and mental well-being of a child.”
Section 13 (2) adds, “No correction of a child is justifiable which is unreasonable in kind or in degree according to the age, physical and mental condition of the child, and no correction is justifiable if the child by reason of tender age or otherwise is incapable of understanding the purpose of the correction.”
The report said the police stormed the Akaa Buem community on Wednesday, and arrested Richard Kofi, who was suspected to be behind the torturing of the toddler.
According to the report, he and his wife were initially taken to the chief’s palace before being whisked away in a Toyota van, adding that the child was also rescued by the police.
He was said to have threatened to harm those who reported him to the police, insisting that he had done nothing wrong to deserve arrest.
Early this week, Ghanaians were horrified by a video capturing the brutal assault of a toddler by a man believed to be his father in the presence of some other people, without any attempt to rescue the victim.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, has condemned the brutal assault of the toddler, describing the action as “cruel, inhumane and barbaric act meted out to the child.”
“The act which has been portrayed in the video is against the Children’s Act 1998 as well as the Criminal Code of Ghana,” the ministry noted in a statement, and added that “this is a clear violation of the law which is punishable.”
“We commend the Ghana Police Service and Child Rights International (CRI) for launching a manhunt for the suspect in the matter and also staking a reward claim to any individual who will be able to provide information that leads to the arrest of the individual and rescue the child,” the statement said.
“Parents and Guardians are advised to correct their children with love and care when they make mistakes but not in a violent manner,” the statement indicated.
By Ernest Kofi Adu