A suspected serial child molester has been remanded into police custody by the Wa Circuit Court, which is presided over by His Honor Mr. Jonathan Avogo. He is scheduled to return to court on Monday, August 14.
The suspect, Rashid Anaata, was detained over the weekend, arraigned in court, and then placed on detention so that the police could wrap up their inquiries.
The Upper West Region’s Principal State Attorney, Mr. Saeed Abdul Shakur, informed the media in Wa that the suspect had been refused bail due to the seriousness of the crime he was thought to have done and the possibility of backlash attacks from 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.
Due to the overwhelming public interest in the case, Mr. Shakur reassured the public that the trial would go quickly. He also warned the public against attempting to influence the prosecution’s witnesses, warning that anybody discovered doing so would be subject to the full force of the law.
The alleged child molester left Wa in May 2023 after being accused of defiling young girls in a widely shared social media video.
Rashid Anaata, a well-known Islamic wedding master of ceremony in Wa, was accused of defiling roughly 30 kids there.
Following the girls’ complaints, Mr. Eliasu Baba Yussif, the CEO of the Bahass Foundation in Wa, filed an official complaint with the Ghana Police Service’s Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit on behalf of the claimed victims.
Rashid Anaata was initially detained in 2014 for allegedly defiling a number of youngsters, but he escaped punishment, which Mr. Shakur ascribed to the influence of some elements 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.”
On Monday morning, August 7, 2023, hundreds of members of the public flocked to the courthouse to see the suspect in action.