A Kumasi High Court presided over by Justice Charles Adjei Wilson on Wednesday sentenced a 24-year-old tea seller and a mother of one to death for the murder of her ex-lover’s son.
This was after the seven-member jury returned a guilty verdict against her.
The convict, Talata Baana, laced rice with an agro-chemical known as chlopyrifos and gave it to the three-year-old boy, Enoch Bambilla, to eat after which she dumped him in the bush to die.
Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate insecticide used primarily to control foliage and soil-borne insect pests on a variety of food and feed crops.
Facts of the case
The facts of the case as presented to the court by the Senior State Attorney, Ms Marie-Louise Simmons were that the convict and the parents of the deceased lived in the same area at Suame Magazine while the complainant, Donald Alabiri is a farmer and resident of New Toase.
She said on December 22, 2014 at about 5:30pm, the complainant was returning from his farm and saw the boy lying unconscious in the bush and rushed him to the Toase Hospital.
She said the deceased was resuscitated there and mentioned his name as Enoch.
However, the deceased’s condition worsened and was rushed to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital where he died shortly after arrival.
According to Ms Simmons, on December 24, 2014, the parents of the deceased lodged a complaint with the police that their son was missing and he was last seen in the company of the convict.
She said the convict was arrested by the Suntreso police and brought to Nkawie and after thorough interrogation, she admitted to the police to have given the deceased food laced with poisonous chemical to teach the parents a lesson for calling her a thief and disgracing her in public.
According to the convict, she had a relationship with the father of the deceased, Ntokum Bambilla, and although the relationship had ended, he had been disturbing her with sex and on one occasion entered her room and tried to rape her.
She said a struggle to free herself from his grip attracted the attention of his wife who came to the room and demanded to know what was happening.
To save himself, Talata said Ntokum lied to his wife that she had stolen her money and he was trying to retrieve the money from her.
She said this made Ntokum’s wife spread rumours about her that she was a thief.
In order to avenge and teach them a lesson, Talata said she took the deceased to a farm in Nkawie, and gave him the boy the rice laced with the chemical to eat.
Talata admitted in court lacing the food with the chemical but explained that her intention was not to kill the boy but to teach the parents a lesson for calling her a thief.
She thus asked the court to temper justice with mercy.