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When a 36 year old policeman, Lance Corporal Steve Selassie Ahlijah of the Teshie police started associating with an Accra based businesswoman (name withheld), it never occurred to the lady that the peace officer had ulterior motive against her.

Lance Corporal Ahlijah, however, knew that the nine year old beautiful daughter of the lady, who is an asthmatic patient, was on his radar and he did not miss his target when the opportunity presented itself.

He allegedly defiled the class five pupil on the blind side of the lady, in his rented room outside the Teshie Police barracks and warned the little girl that her mother would die if she discloses the affair to her.

As a result of this alleged act, Lance Corporal Steve Selassie Ahlijah is now in the grips of the law, and is said to be in detention at the Ministries police station, on charges of indecent assault and defilement.

The allegation includes fingering the girl on the first encounter, and on the two subsequent occasions that he managed to lure the girl, he had actual carnal knowledge of her.

Information available to The Chronicle indicate that the mother of the child owns a shop in front of the house where the accused lives, and in view of the fact that the mother had been attacked by thieves a few times at her residence, which is quite some distance from her business point, the accused sometimes offered protection by either providing her with a trusted taxi driver, or putting her in the care of police patrol teams enroute to her location.

Sources revealed to The Chronicle that the friendship between the mother of the defiled child and the policeman was very cordial, to the extent that he called her ‘mummy’. After having gained the trust of the woman, he suggested to her to allow her child to play around the vicinity, since according to him, she was being too protective of the girl.

Further information indicates that on a particular day, Steve Ahlijah packed his car in front of the woman’s shop, and they engaged in a conversation, while her daughter lay on her lap. However, after the woman got up to sell to a customer, she could not find her daughter or the policeman.

She made several frantic phone calls to the policeman to check if the girl was with him, but he did not answer his phone. After about some 45 minutes, Steve Ahlijah returned with a glass of alcohol in his hand, and the girl was spotted coming out of his car.

Though he will not answer where he was coming from with the girl, her mother was said not to have suspected anything, due to her friendship with the policeman, and the fact that the girl did not make any uncomplimentary remarks about him.

The girl told her mum that Steve went to buy vitamilk for her, and even showed the mother where she dropped the empty bottle. Some three days later, the girl was said to have had a serious asthma attack, which was treated as usual and passed.

At another time, the mother was said to have been invited to a local meal of ‘akple’ with pepper and fried fish by Steve, but the mother opted for only the fish, since she did not like corn food and, therefore, asked the girl to go with Steve to the house, to bring the fried fish for them to prepare their own meal.

However, the distance to the policeman’s house and back, which should have taken just about three minutes, lasted about thirty minutes, alarming the mother, who followed up to check on the girl, only to meet her coming with the policeman, who on this occasion also, had an alcoholic drink in a glass in his hand, while the girl had the fish in a polythene bag.

Again, Steve would not answer any questions as to why the girl had kept that long in collecting the fish, yet his friendship with the mother did not allow her to have any suspicions. After some days, the girl again got a serious asthma attack, with the mother not understanding its trigger, but nonetheless had no suspicions whatsoever.

Subsequently, sources close to the mother said Steve visited the former when she was not feeling well. The policeman was said to have put his hand in between her breast-line and said: “you need to be hammered well, but what is paining me is that if I do that for you, your daughter will be worried.”

Thus, the mother asked why he (Selassie) thought her daughter would be worried should there be something between two consenting adults, after angrily rebuking him for putting his hand on her chest, the suspect answered that the girl would think he was worrying her mother.

The lady reportedly told the police man that she was worried that thieves would attack and defile her daughter, but the policeman was alleged to have said, “who told you she can’t take it?”, sources disclosed.

This was said to have made the woman suspect something, but without directly laying that suspicion on the policeman, who was like an uncle to the girl. The mother questioned the girl when she returned from school, saying that uncle Steve (policeman) said she would not cry or complain if someone wanted to defile her.

This, according to sources, made the girl sad, but would not say anything until she started complaining of abdominal pains in October this year. The mother then started questioning all those around her child, both young and old.

Also, the mother was said to have called in the suspect to help question the girl, since he was like an uncle to her, but when he asked the girl what happened to her in school, the girl was said to have replied that “but in school, there are a lot of people and no one can do anything to me.”

It was said that when he tried to touch the girl during that interrogation, the girl avoided the touch by moving towards the mother, which deepened the mother’s suspicion that something had happened to the girl.

Therefore, she further put pressure on the girl, who said that her mother would die first and then she would follow, should she talk, but upon assurances from the mother that she would not die, the little girl finally gave in and mentioned the policeman as having allegedly defiled her.

This led the mother to lodge a complaint with the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU), leading to the policeman’s arrest. However, sources further allege that people close to the accused were making numerous attempts through various quarters to induce the mother of the child with huge sums of money, for an out of court settlement.

But the mother, who feels betrayed, is said to have resolved not to rest until the accused person has been sentenced to imprisonment, due to the damage that has been caused to her daughter, besides the psychological trauma the girl suffers, like crying at the least instance.

However, attempts to obtain information from DOVVSU by The Chronicle proved futile, as The Chronicle reporter was told on Thursday at the Unit in the Ministries that the Public Relations Officer and Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Agyepong, in charge of the case, were all not available.

The reporter was, therefore, directed to seek permission from one DSP Freeman Tettey from the DOVVSU unit at the police headquarters, who was also not available when the reporter called at his office, but told the reporter on phone to call the next day for further discussion.

However, DSP Tettey told The Chronicle editor on Friday to let the reporter go back to the DOVVSU Unit at the Ministries for briefing, only for the reporter to be told by one DSP Eunice Donkor that he had received no such directions from DSP Tettey.

However, she called DSP Tettey on phone, who requested that the reporter be asked to excuse them from the room, after which the reporter was told that the case was a complex matter that was still under investigation, hence no details could be provided.
Source: Phylis Osabutey/The Chronicle

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