Agbofa Yao Hateka, the 47-year-old fetish priest who fathered nine kids with his biological daughter, has been sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment in hard labour by the Sogakofe Circuit Court.
Before the judge, Nene Mate-Teye, sentenced the convict on Friday, Yao Hateka pleaded with the court to pardon him and make him sign a bond.
He also requested to be permitted to kneel before the court to beg the judge and promise not to repeat the offence; but the court refused.
The convict had earlier made two appearances on 12th and 13th July, 2012 at the same court for having nine children with his daughter, four of whom were dead.
He pleaded guilty at the last hearing, leading to his conviction on Friday.
According to the prosecutor, Inspector Emmanuel Atsor’s narration, the case of incest was reported to the Dabala Police by Torgbey Sekpetey II, chief of Gonu-Ashagborkope, who was also a revenue collector.
The complainant told the police on 7thJune 2012 that the accused was married to his biological daughter, Baby Hateka, with whom he had nine kids. Yao Hateka allegedly impregnated Baby and subsequently had eight other children with her.
Out of the lot, there were now five kids aged 14, 12, three, two and a month-and-a-half old. During the interrogation however, Baby Hateka told the police she had eight other children with her father out of whom three died, contradicting the convict’s narration that he had only a two-year-old baby with his daughter, called Dodzi.
The convict would not allow anybody to intervene as he allegedly threatened people with death if they meddled in the incestuous relationship with his daughter. He allegedly threatened to invoke the spirit of his gods to deal with meddlers. The accused told the court that he was both a farmer and a fisherman, although the prosecution witness claimed he was unemployed.
Before his arrest, Hateka told the police that his daughter suffered from sickle cell anaemia, and had come to stay with him from a cocoa-growing area. Torgbey Sekpetey II had earlier fined the accused a fowl so his daughter could be cleansed before reporting the matter to the police. The presiding judge, in handing the sentence to the incestuous man, condemned the act and wondered why the accused wanted to be pardoned.
He noted that not only was the act a taboo but unconstitutional and barbaric. He also commended the chief, Togbe Sekpetey II, for his bravery and strong stance for the truth and called on all to emulate the gesture.