And Raymond knew then that he had to do the right thing.
Something he had not thought of doing. He had greatly regretted everything he had done and genuinely if he got another chance after this mess, he would do something right with his life.
For the first time in his life, Raymond went to church genuinely and confessed to his parish priest of the atrocities he had committed. He sought the Lord’s face and asked for forgiveness.
And after that, he felt really good for the first time in his life.
He started apologizing to the people he had wronged and for the greater part, he prayed for them. He was not an easy person to forgive or ask for forgiveness. And the people he sought forgiveness from were surprised and wondered if it was all an act.
Many forgave him but a few never really did forgive him. Some had slapped him and spat in his face and they had cursed him to die.
He had wrecked homes, caused people to lose their jobs, he had broken up friendships and relationships. And for the pains he had caused them over the years, the few cursed him that he will live the rest of his life in pain much greater than the ones he had caused them.
He apologized to Leonard and asked for forgiveness. Leonard cried with his friend and he had forgiven him instantly.
He knew his friend needed help and he wanted to be there for him.
Raymond prayed and fasted and sought the face of the Lord.
Raymond pleaded with Leonard to accompany him to the forest, where he had buried Ama Konto’s remains. They had gone with a body bag, pick axe, shovel, disinfectants amongst others.
They drove for long hours in the deep forest. And at a certain point, they had to get down and walk.
Leonard wondered how his friend could have done all this by himself.
Raymond buried Ama Konto under a big oak tree in the forest.
Fortunately, he had easily remembered the spot he had buried the body and pointed it out immediately to Leonard.
He sat in the wheelchair due to the old age as Leonard dug out the grave. About some minutes of intensive digging, Leonard came across the mortal remains of Ama Konto and it smelled really bad. It had rotten!
Raymond couldn’t help but scream and cry. He cried and fell on his knees and it was such a sad sight to behold.
Leonard cried and could not believe that the body in front of him was the beautiful Ama Konto’s remains.
Leonard bagged the remains and carried it to the car as Raymond wheeled himself in selfpity.
The two friends didn’t talk to each other and they set off to Densema village.
They drove in silence.
Mr Kpakpo had told his wife that they would get the remains of their beloved daughter and this time around they can bury her in peace. Mrs Mae couldn’t hold her tears and cried really hard. Mr Kpakpo had informed a few people to be present for her daughter’s burial.
When Mrs Mae saw the fine car drive into their compound, she knew and felt it was her daughter’s remains being brought to her.
She cried and threw herself in front of the car even before it stopped.
Leonard got out and helped his friend out.
He opened the trunk of the car and there were cries all over the place. People started trooping in to find out what was going on.
The few men around took the body bag out of the trunk and carefully placed it on the ground. The brave and courageous Mr Kpakpo then was just a parent and he cried really hard, knowing that it was his daughter who was in the body bag.
People had to gather around Mrs Mae to prevent her from hurting herself. She cried really hard and the people around cried even harder. Ama Konto was just a lovely young girl to everyone in the village.
She was adored and respected even at her age.
The people had wanted to bury Ama Konto right away in the body bag but Mr Kpakpo stopped them. He opened the bag and took his daughter’s body in his arms. It smelled really bad and it filled the compound but they all stayed.
Carefully he marched to the newly dug grave in tears with his wife behind him wailing. He performed a few sacrifices and prayed to the gods to accept his daughter so she can finally rest.
He walked over to Raymond with fury in his eyes.
“It’s time! If she accepts your apologies then I am done with you. Oh if I had my way, you would die a painful death Mr Raymond. You have created a great vacuum in our hearts and I only hope your apologies get rejected.” Mr Kpakpo hissed.
Raymond said nothing and got up on his feet. The pains was severe but he endured. If he had seen the looks and stares from the villagers he would have fled.
Slowly and gradually he walked over to Ama Konto’s grave and knelt in front of it. His heart was heavy and his eyes were flooded with tears.
And he remembered the first day he saw Ama Konto and how he had manipulated and drugged her just to satisfy his sexual desires. And how he had buried her and thought no one would know about it.
His heart bled! And twice he opened his mouth but nothing came out from it.
“Oh, Ama Konto. If I could only turn the hands of time, I certainly wouldn’t have done what I did to you. You deserved better and I took you for something less. There’s nothing that can justify what I did to you Ama. I.. I… I…”
He broke off and cried heartily. And the people could see his body shaking.
“I cannot say I was led by Satan or any demonic spirit to do what I did to you because I made up my mind to satisfy my foolish desires even before I got to know you. I was a foolish man who only thought about himself. But I have learned a great lesson Ama. I am so sorry for the pains I’ve caused you, your family, your loved ones, myself included.”
And he cried even harder this time. And his words touched the hearts of many and cried with him.
“No amount of words can describe how sorry I am right now Ama. But I have come to believe that you can see my heart and I know you can see how regretful I have become. Search my heart Ama, and if you find it worthy, forgive me for the pains I have caused you. Accept my apologies and finally rest in peace.”
“You loved me and I reciprocated your love with evil and unhealthy desires. I am sorry. I really am.”
Raymond cried his heart and he never cared if his apologies would be accepted or not! All he cared about was saying how deeply he had regretted and how he sorry he was.
Raymond cried as he knelt by the grave, and his heart still bled.
And it happened!
The clouds gathered heavily up the skies and there was darkness all over.
There was a thunderstorm and lightning striking here and there. And then it started raining heavily but mysteriously it rained only on Raymond. And the people wondered what that meant.
And Raymond raised his head the skies, with his arms spread wide and received the full rain.
Mr Kpakpo and his wife walked over to the grave and knelt beside Raymond. After a few minutes it stopped raining and the darkness went away.
The rainbow came up the skies and Ama Konto’s spirit was seen behind the grave.
And it was so physical that those present really saw that it was Ama Konto’s spirit. And when she spoke they really heard whatever she said.
“I loved you, Ray. I still do. You took my love for granted and had your way with me. My soul was sad and it was tormented. But I do forgive you, Ray. I do.” Ama Konto said with a lovely smile and it transformed her face to the most beautiful thing ever.
“Thank you, my love. Thank you.” Raymond whispered with tears in his eyes.
“Mama, Papa. Oh, I how I have missed you. I love you very well. I love you.”
Mr Kpakpo and his wife couldn’t control their tears. And Ama Konto’s spirit was seen no more. And Raymond’s curse was reversed instantly.
The people gasped in awe for they had not seen anything of that sort before.
Ama Konto’s grave was covered but Mrs Mae still cried because she missed her daughter so much. Mr Kpakpo knew then that his daughter is finally laid to rest in peace.
“Thank you Mr Raymond. My daughter can finally rest.” Mr Kpakpo said with tears in his eyes and he shook Raymond’s hands.
“No, thank you, sir. You made me realize my bad ways and I can’t thank you enough. And I’m so sorry for everything that has happened. Please forgive me” Raymond pleaded.
“That’s the end of the road for us then, Mr Raymond. For the wages of sin is death…” he said and walked away with his wife.
Leonard came to his friend and hugged him. And they consoled each other.
The people started paving way when they heard the police sirens.
And it was Chief Supt. Clifford Gyamfi. He walked towards Raymond and stood right in front of him.
“Mr Raymond Akee Otoo, you’re being arrested for the rape and murder of Miss. Ama Bosomba Konto. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law. You have the right to an attorney and if you can’t afford one the state will provide one for you” Supt. Clifford Gyamfi said without batting an eye.
“Sergeant Isaac Asenso!”
“Yes Sir!” the sergeant responded.
“Please cuff this man and send him to the Sedan outside.” Supt. Clifford Gyamfi commanded.
“With pleasure, Sir.”
Raymond was cuffed and was sent to the police sedan outside.
“Accept my condolences sir. Mr Raymond will face the full wrath of the law.” Supt. Clifford Gyamfi said to Mr Kpakpo and quickly walked out.
Leonard followed the Police as they drove off to the station.
LOCATION: THE SUPREME COURT
The courtroom was filled to the brim. Both the upper and lower part of the room was filled with people and reporters from all over the country. Every media station had its representative who was taking live coverage for them.
The courtroom was big and spacious. On the right side from the judges’ view was the prosecution and the left side, the defendant. Behind the judges’ seat was the nation’s flag and a flag of the Ghana Bar Association.
The room was silent as the cemetery. The main doors to the court opened and Mr Raymond Akee Otoo was led in cuffs with armed policemen beside him.
There were shouts immediately as people cursed under their breaths. There goes the beast.
There have been great revelations the past days where a video tape of Raymond had come out telling the people he was guilty of Ama Konto’s death and gave detailed information of how everything went down.
Upon thorough investigations by the police, everything that was said in the video was true and valid and they had processed Raymond for court immediately.
He was led to the defendant’s table and amidst all the insults, he remained calm and focused.
On the right side of the courtroom was the jury.
It was a 11 member jury and they were all present waiting for the judges’ to make an appearance.
Shortly after Raymond was seated, a small door at the far end of the courtroom opened and the bailiff stood up to address to people::
“All rise to the Chief Justice and the associate justices of the Supreme Court of Ghana. All persons should keep quiet for the court is in session” the bailiff said and went back to his post.
The nine-member team of justices took their seats one after the other.
“You may be seated” the Chief Justice, Justice Samuel Antwi Marfo said.
The people sat down and once again the room was filled with silence.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a criminal case RS 534, State vs Mr Raymond Akee Otoo. And we have gathered here to give our final verdict to the case.” the Chief Justice addressed.
“Will the foreperson of the jury please stand?” the Chief Justice said.
An elderly man stood and in his hand, he had a sealed envelope.
“Have you reached a verdict?” the C.J asked.
“Yes, your honour,” the elderly man responded.
“Will the defendant please stand?”
Raymond stood up and there were whistles and shouts everywhere. The Bailiff called the people to order and the room was silent again.
“You may read your verdict,” the C.J said and relaxed in his chair.
“After taking everything presented to the court into consideration; on the case of rape, we find Mr Raymond Akee Otoo guilty. In the case of first degree murder, we find Mr Raymond Akee Otoo guilty,” the elderly man said and took his seat.
“So say you all?” the C.J asked, directing the question to the jury.
“Yes, your honour” the jury responded in unison.
“Justice Emmanuel Tawiah, may you address the court of the sentences,” the C.J said.
Justice Emmanuel Tawiah cleared his throat and leaned moved.
“The court thereby sentences you on the case of rape, to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour. In the case of first-degree murder, the court sentences you to death by hanging.” Justice Emmanuel Tawiah declared.
The Chief Justice hits the gavel and the court was adjourned.
Roland, if you can hear me then that was the sentences from the Supreme Court, the highest court of the land. Mr Raymond Akee Otoo is sentenced to death by hanging for the atrocities he had committed. And…”
“If you’ve just tuned in to ADOM VIBEZ this is your presenter, Kwasi Bomfa, on News @ 10. Information reaching us says the Supreme Court has just ordered the death of Mr Raymond Akee Otoo by hanging. We have our reporter, Akua Serwaa on grounds. Akua, if you can hear me please enlighten us on what’s going on right now after the ruling of the Supreme Court”
“Thank you, Kwasi. Once again I welcome our viewers on ADOM VIBEZ and I am reporting live from the Supreme Court. The nine-member justices in a few minutes ago just ordered that Mr Raymond Akee Otoo should be hanged and Kwasi, believe you me, you can’t fathom the kind of happiness around here. People are actually happy and jubilating. I have a person that wants to be interviewed.”
“Hello young lady, welcome to ADOM VIBEZ. Please your name and what makes you so happy this morning,” the reporter asked.
“My name Akua Konadu. I’m very happy because justice has been served. This man deserves to die. We’re all sinners but the kind of things he did was so inhumane and deserves to be hanged to death. It could have been me. Who knows?” the young lady replied.
“Thank you, Akua. Hello sir, welcome to ADOM VIBEZ, please your name and do you think the Supreme Court ruling is fair?”
“Ah, my dear. Wey kind question this? Someone raped a minor and killed her and if reality have catch up on him aa wose is it fair? Ah! It’s more than fair mpo. This man is a threat to society and this threat has been eliminated, we should make merry because our daughters will be safe out there with these kinds of animals gone. They should cut him into pieces and feed him to the vultures.”
“Wose ei! You’ve not seen anything yet my dear.”
“Hello, sir. What can you say about the Supreme Court ruling?” the report asked.
“I cannot say anything about it, madam. I don’t know why people should jubilate over someone’s death. I just hope he takes Jesus as his personal saviour before he dies” the man said and walked away.
“Well, Kwasi, as you can see there are lots of people here who would wish to talk and share their views with us. I think we should really have a program on this because people are eager to air their views but for the sake of time, I’ll have to leave it here. See you soon, ladies and gentlemen.”
“Thank you Akua Serwaa. Yeah, so that’s what is going on there at the Supreme Court currently and people are rejoicing just as you could see from the live feed. So yeah, I think there will be a program on this particular issue for our viewers and listeners to call and share their views. Till then, stay safe, and thanks for watching News @ 10. See you at the 12pm news. I am Kwasi Bomfa. Bye.”
Almost every media house across the nation showed the Supreme Court proceedings and it was on every lip.
Raymond was transferred to high-security prison to serve his sentence.
Raymond only spent three days in prison. And the three days was enough for him to make an impact on others.
Raymond shared his story with the other inmates and encouraged a lot of them. He told them about Jesus and he prayed with them.
On the third day, Raymond was hanged exactly at 12:00 am in the morning with only a few people around.
Before his death, remember Mr Kpakpo’s quote:
“For the wages of sin is death, the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”
Raymond knew he had committed atrocities and he had to pay for them one way or the other even if it was death.
But he knew he would die in Christ for he has believed him and accepted his will and commandments.
Baffour-Koduah Daniel is a young Ghanaian writer and student.