A 17-year-old boy, Osei Boadi Joseph, is currently fighting for his life at Akyem Oda Government Hospital in the Eastern Region of Ghana after a self-styled pastor scalded his right palm with anointing oil over a missing sum of Ghc600.
The incident occurred in Adansi Nsokote, a community near Ofoase Ayirebi on the border of the Eastern and Ashanti regions.
According to Emelia Adutwumwaa, the mother of the victim, her sister-in-law, Yaa Sarfoa, accused Joseph of stealing her money. Despite his persistent denial, Sarfoa insisted on bringing the self-styled pastor for mystical rituals to fish out the suspect.
The pastor then scalded the anointing oil on the floor and, after incantations, asked Joseph to dip his right palm into it for 15 minutes to prove his innocence.
However, the victim’s condition worsened a few days after the incident as his fingers began to char. The mother said, “Nothing happened after 15 minutes, so the Pastor asked him to remove his hand from the scalding anointing oil. However, my son started complaining at night that his palm and fingers had been scalded.”
The incident was reported at the Akyem Amantia Police Station, leading to the arrest of the self-styled pastor. However, the Assembly member intervened for his release for an amicable settlement, which was granted by the police, leaving the suspect to walk freely.
Following the lack of improvement in Joseph’s condition after several medical interventions at a primary healthcare facility, he was taken to Oda Government Hospital on Monday, March 27, 2023, where he is receiving treatment.
The victim is also facing challenges with his academic pursuits as the despicable incident has prevented him from taking steps to be admitted to a senior high school where he has been posted.
According to his mother, “Because of this incident, he has not been able to go for admission to secondary school. Now we don’t even have money to pay his medical bills. His health insurance has just been renewed, so it’s not working for now. I have spent all my savings to treat my son. I need money and justice.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare visited the victim to commence an investigation into the incident.
This incident highlights the dangers of resorting to superstitious beliefs and self-styled pastors seeking justice. The police should ensure that justice is served in this case to serve as a deterrent to others who may be tempted to resort to similar acts.
The victim also needs urgent financial assistance to cover his medical bills and continue his academic pursuits.