The Wa Circuit Court presided over by His Honour Mr Jonathan Avogo, has remanded a suspected serial paedophile into police custody to reappear in court on Monday, August 14.
Rashid Anaata, the suspect, was arrested at the weekend and arraigned before the Wa Circuit Court and was subsequently remanded to enable the police to conclude its investigations.
Mr Saeed Abdul Shakur, the Principal State Attorney in the Upper West Region, told the media in Wa that the suspect was denied bail, considering the gravity of the crime he was suspected to have committed and the risk of reprisal attack on him by some members of the public.
“Someone who has left the district before, we cannot be sure he will not escape, considering the gravity of the offences and the punishment that will be meted out if he is convicted.
“We are talking about a minimum of eight years and a maximum of 25 years in each of the counts, if we succeed with the case he might be going in for a long term, so if the court allows him on bail, we might not get him to try.
“We also say that it is in his own interest because of the anger, you can gauge the anger in society … if such a person is charged loose we might not even get him to try, people might take the law into their own hands, so in order to prevent that situation too, we prayed the court to keep him in custody,” the Principal State Attorney explained.
Mr Shakur assured the public that the trial would be fast-tracked because of the immense public interest in the matter, and cautioned the public against any attempt to influence the prosecution witnesses in the case and that anyone caught in that would be made to face the full rigours of the law.
In May 2023, the suspected paedophile fled Wa after he was accused by some girls of defilement in a viral video on social media.
It was alleged that Rashid Anaata, a celebrated Islamic Wedding Master of Ceremony in Wa, defiled about 30 children in Wa.
Following the allegations by the girls, Mr Eliasu Baba Yussif, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bahass Foundation in Wa, lodged a formal complaint with the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service on behalf of the alleged victims.
Rashid Anaata was first arrested in 2014 for allegedly defiling some children but was left off the hook, which Mr Shakur attributed to the interference of some members of society.
Mr Shakur, however, said, “This time round we have all plans in place to ensure that nobody goes behind anywhere to touch any of the witnesses, we are going through this trial, and we are doing it expeditiously, the evidence is solid.” Scores of members of the public thronged the court premises on Monday morning, August 7, 2023, to catch a glimpse of the suspect in court.