Man-Woman Fetish Priest Storms Court

THE SEFWI-BIBIANI Circuit Court, presided over by Mr. Emmanuel Ankamah, has granted a bail of GH˘30,000 with two sureties to the ‘man-woman’ fetish priest, Nana Kwabena Bennie. The fetish priest was standing trial on two counts of child stealing contrary to section 93 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29) and practicing medicine without authority, contrary to section 8 (1&2) of the Pharmacy and Drugs Act, 1961 (Act 64). Komfo Bennie, who arrived in court this time dressed as a man, wearing a piece of cloth over trousers and a lacoste shirt, will reappear before the court on August 18, 2011, as the judge put it “for definite hearing of the case”. Komfo Bennie’s mother, Adwoa Ataa, who was also standing trial on a charge of abetment of crime, contrary to section 20 (1) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), was also granted bail during the court’s last hearing. Counsel for the fetish priest, Mr. Damptey continually prayed the court yesterday to grant his client bail because he claimed Komfo Bennie was very sick and not fit to stand trial. He also argued that his client had been ill since his last court appearance and receiving medical attention and this prevented him from getting access to Komfo Bennie. Therefore he, as a lawyer, could not represent his client well. At this juncture, the prosecutor of the case quickly jumped in to plead with the court not to grant the defence counsel’s request, claiming the fetish priest might jump bail. The prosecutor went ahead to note that the accused person was feigning illness just to buy time and prevent the court from getting to the substance of the matter, so the court could make a final ruling. Drama nearly unfolded in the packed-to-capacity-court at this juncture, with the comments passed by the prosecutor infuriating Lawyer Damptey, who yelled ‘shut up!’ on the prosecutor. The quick intervention of Judge Ankamah perhaps saved the prosecutor from more abusive words. When the views of the investigator Thomas Acquah were sought by the court as to whether the accused person should be granted bail or not, the investigator sided with the prosecutor, telling the court that the charge of child stealing preferred against the fetish priest in court had spread all over the community in which Komfo Bennie lived. He feared that members of the town, infuriated by the matter, might victimize or physically attack Bennie; therefore the court would do the fetish priest a lot of good if it remanded him in police custody. The Presiding Judge, after going through the facts, said since the offence preferred against the accused person was bailable, the court had no option but to grant him bail on health grounds. Komfo Bennie had been in the news over reports that the male fetish priest, based at Apentamadi near Sefwi Wiawso in the Western Region, had suddenly turned into a female. It was reported that Komfo Bennie’s penis had even vanished and was replaced with a vagina due to his disobedience of the gods he served. The fetish priest later got married in a flashy fashion. Komfo Bennie later on claimed that she had given birth to a baby girl about 11 months ago and named her Maa Abena. However, it was revealed that the child was not the biological daughter of Komfo Bennie as she claimed, but rather the child’s real mother was one Ama Agyeiwaa, 34, a trader. Komfo Bennie reportedly tricked Agyeiwaa who was seven months pregnant and her husband into believing that what was in her womb was an African python and not a baby. Agyeiwaa, who was in court yesterday, told DAILY GUIDE that she stayed with Komfo Bennie and even slept in the same room with him for about two and a half months before giving birth. According to her, during delivery, Komfo Bennie told her to close her eyes and avoid looking at the child to prevent her from giving birth to more African pythons in future. She said she obeyed Komfo Bennie’s orders and although she heard the baby crying, she did not take a look at it until Komfo Bennie told her that he had buried the African python. Agyeiwaa said she later asked Komfo Bennie why the African python cried like a human being and the fetish priest retorted that though physically the child looked and acted like a human being, in the spiritual realm, it was a snake.