Why Rita Was Murdered
VARIOUS REASONS have been adduced for the murder of a popular 30-year-old cosmetics shop owner at Koforidua who was cruelly killed at the weekend by a mallam at Okorase, a village near Koforidua in the Eastern region.
The body of Rita Baah, popularly called Afia Ataa, was wrapped in cloth and was being conveyed by the mallam in the wee hours of Sunday on his motorbike to an unknown place at the outskirts of the town when two gentlemen travelling from Akwapim Akropong to Suhum spotted him from their car and raised the alarm.
The mallam abandoned the body and tried to sneak out of town, but unfortunately for him he was seen by some people who had heard about the murder. He was nearly lynched before he was sent to the police station.
The mallam, Joseph Tetteh, 35, was said to have used a mauling hammer to hit the head of the victim several times on the head and neck. According to DAILY GUIDE sources, Rita Baah, who is a regular visitor to mallam Tetteh’s shrine at Okorase, threatened to reveal the nefarious activities of Tetteh to the police after he allegedly had sex with her on her last visit to the shrine at the weekend.
According to the sources, Ataa had been the link between the mallam and customers after she was introduced to the place for spiritual assistance with her business. The sources alleged that Ataa allowed the mallam to have sex with her because of an outstanding debt of GH¢700 which was to be paid to him as a result of the ‘middleman’ role she had been playing to get him customers.
The mallam, according to sources, had personally proposed to Ataa because of her striking beauty, but she only allowed him to have his way with her in order to ‘cancel’ the debt she owed him.
But after the alleged sexual encounter, the mallam insisted that Ataa pay the money. She however felt cheated and threatened to reveal his ‘secrets’ to the police, leading to the mallam’s attack on her with the hammer.
Other sources also explained that Rita went for ‘spiritual’ soap for her body from the mallam in order to make her more beautiful and extraordinarily attractive to men. The sources said after she had used the soap and was going for further consultation at the mallam’s, he could not resist her beauty and tried to forcibly have sex with her.
According to the sources, Ataa resisted because she claimed she had a serious boyfriend, but the mallam still persisted. In the course of the struggle, the mallam became so furious that he hit her with a hammer in his room.
In his statement to the police, the suspect explained that on that fateful Saturday the victim visited him in the morning to collect some herbs. He then left to fetch the herbs as the lady waited for him at his shrine in his rented house.
According to him, while he was fetching the herbs from a bush not far from his house, he heard shouts coming from the direction of his house and quickly went back only to find the lady in a pool of blood.
According him, he immediately suspected his landlord, who was in the house, to have committed the heinous crime because the lady had complained to him that his landlord was pestering her with love issues.
He said he had wanted to tell his friends about the case but they were all very busy then. He thus decided to go on a drinking spree and later decided to dispose of the body so he would not be incriminated since the murder happened right in his shrine.
He told the police that his intention was to deposit the body of the deceased in her boyfriend’s area. According to him, he could not just look into the face of the victim and kill her because she had been ‘getting’ money for him.
The police said they are still conducting investigations into the matter as the suspect remains in their custody. The New Juaben Municipal Police Commander, Superintendent John Naami, expressed his gratitude to members of the public for helping with the arrest of the suspect.