An Accra Circuit Court on Monday discharged Mary Anaglate, a worker at Peace and Love Orphanage jointly charged with Grace Omaboe (a.k.a Maame Dokono) for neglect, operating an orphanage without a licence and exposing a child to harm.
They pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted GH¢30,000 bail with two sureties each.
Grace Omaboe 61, a popular actress and a Metro TV hostess, is the proprietress of the Orphanage.
The Trial Judge, Mrs Georgina Mensah-Datsa, noted that the investigator, Ms Emefa Dzansi was unable to answer questions relating to the charges preferred against Mary Anaglate who was without a counsel.
Meanwhile Mrs Joyce Agyeman Atafuah, counsel for Grace Omaboe indicated to the court of her intention to file a submission of no case against her client.
She said she had six witnesses to testify for her client and prayed the court for a month’s adjournment.
However, the court declined saying “that is too far,” and rather granted them two weeks.
The matter was therefore adjourned to Thursday, August 5.
Earlier answering questions during cross-examination, the investigator was given the death certificate of Joseph Kobby Omaboe by defence counsel to read out the medical officer’s report which indicated that the deceased died from heart failure.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Kofi Blagodzi, prosecuting, told the court that Grace Omaboe registered the orphanage with the Department of Social Welfare in March 2005.
He said, however, that the licence to operate expired in March 2006, but was not renewed therefore since 2006 it operated illegally.
The prosecutor said in 2004, Nana Yaa Agyeman, Supervisor of the Orphanage wrote to the National Commission on Children about the deplorable conditions at the orphanage but no action was taken.
It said Grace failed to employ adequate staff to manage the orphanage whilst the inmates were not fed properly leaving some of them malnourished. The inmates lived in dark and poorly ventilated rooms.
ASP Blagodzi said, as a result of the darkness due to non-payment of electricity bills, the older inmates took advantage to abuse the young inmates sexually.
He said on December 31, 2008 Grace Omaboe left for Holland and left only GH¢50.00 for the upkeep of the inmates, the situation deteriorated and complaints were made to the Department of Social Welfare that sent an official to inspect the orphanage.
ASP Blagodzi said it was recommended that four of the inmates should be evacuated and two of them Daadum Omaboe, two years old, and Barrack Omaboe, six months old should be sent to other orphanages.
He said they were sent to another orphanage, Beacon House, where it was detected that both inmates had been sodomized.
ASP Blagodzi further said investigations revealed that some of the inmates below 12 years of age took advantage of the darkness and lack of supervision to defile and sodomized the younger ones.
He said Joseph Kobby Omaboe and Adom Omaboe were put in boiling water by one of the staff called Daavi, which led to the death of Joseph on October 2006 after both had received various degrees of injuries.
The orphanage has since been closed down.