Eastern Region- Robbers Attack Orphanage
Inmates of the Lighthouse Chapel Orphanage at Jamaicaso, a neighbourhood in Aburi in the Eastern Region, are yet to recover from the trauma of watching a caregiver being gang-raped, an administrator beaten and a mate injured with the butt of a gun.
The four robbers who attacked the home also ransacked the home, taking away money and various electrical gadgets after brutalising the residents, but the police patrol team that arrived an hour after the incident — around 2.30 a.m. on Sunday — allegedly left without offering any form of protection to the victims.
But the Mampong Police Command discredited the claim, saying it was not aware that an orphanage was even located in the area.
In a move best fit for a movie script, the robbers climbed a concrete wall before entering the main house through a window which is located in a developing area in Aburi and partly surrounded by uncompleted buildings and bushes.
Established six years ago, the orphanage, which is home to 20 children between the ages of four and 16, is financed by the Lighthouse Chapel International, one of the charismatic churches in the country.
Narrating the rather horrifying ordeal to the Daily Graphic, the Administrator of the home, who gave her name only as Patricia, said she had woken up around 12.30 a.m. on the said day and “saw that my door had been opened. I was in bed and so when the door was opened, I got startled and it was dark”.
“Immediately I started screaming, the robbers began to hit my head, my eyes, my jaws and my side,” she said, wincing in pain as tears flowed from her red eyes.
“They asked me whether I knew who they are. Before I answered, they said they were armed robbers and that they would shoot and kill me. They asked for my money and went through my things — books and envelopes,” she said.
She said when they did not find what they wanted, they went into other rooms in the house, picking phones and electrical gadgets.
She said the unmasked robbers “taped our mouths, tied our hands and hit us with guns and fists and jabbed and pushed us. It went on for about an hour”.
She said when the police finally arrived at 2.30 a.m., they surveyed the place, asked questions and left, saying they were on patrol.
“We pleaded with them to leave at least one person behind because there were four of them but we were left here, vulnerable and helpless without any form of protection.
Patricia, who had just returned from hospital when the Daily Graphic team arrived, said, “I feel a little better now. I thank God that we are all alive.”
The Manager of the Home, Ms Bridgette Ogoe, for her part, said in the melee, the children who woke up also had their fair share of the agony, as her son (name withheld) was hit with the butt of a gun, making him sustain a head injury as a result.
She said one of the caregivers who had gone to the hospital with her had been gang-raped by two of the robbers.
She expressed dissatisfaction with the behaviour of the police and asked what the relevance of the police emergency numbers were if the police could not rally to the aid of the vulnerable.
Ms Ogoe said the home had secured the services of a clinical psychologist to counsel the children and the adults who were brutalised by the robbers.
The Aburi-Mampong District Police Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police Mr Agyenim Boateng, defended the police action and stated that they did not know an orphanage existed in the area.
“We know children are vulnerable and they should have notified us about their existence, but they didn’t. This makes our work difficult,” he added.
He, however, stated that the police were on the trail of the perpetrators of the heinous crime and would certainly arrest them.
“We have beefed up security in the area and would like to assure the public that we will arrest the robbers, no matter what,” he added.