The Nkwanta health promotion officer, Richard Morgan Kudzo Azaglo is being investigated for allegedly drugging and defiling two minors who lived with him and his wife.
Mr. Azaglo who once practised as a nurse prior to his current role, is alleged to be in the practice of intravenously injecting young girls with substances that intoxicates them and then defiling his victims.
The suspect’s wife retails fresh and smoked fish and often required the services of maids to help in the business. Sadly, these girls are reported to quickly become subjects of sexual abuse by Mr Azaglo.
Two girls aged 13 and 15 who lived with Mr Azagloh and his wife, according to social welfare staff, regularly reported to school tired and druggy.
“The girls always reported to school late and tired, so they reported to their teacher that their caregiver (Mr Azaglo) routinely injected them with substances with the claim that it was for protection. They woke up the following mornings with bruised genitalia and extreme fatigue” Kafui Kpodo, a Social Welfare staff in Nkwanta told Citi News.
One of Azaglo’s victims is a 13-year-old primary 4 pupil whom we prefer to call Ama Dogo said that they were injected at least 3 times every week except when they had their menstrual cycle.
Ama Dogo’s father said he did not want his daughter to grow up with caregivers but Mr. Azaglo persuaded him to rethink his position.
“I was deceived by Mr. Azaglo’s seemingly good intentions. But when I heard of the abuse, I knew I had to act. I didn’t want my daughter to be another statistic. No parent should have to go through what we did,” the father said.
The 13-year-old Ama had scars on the back of her palm. She said those are scars from the continued administration of intravenous injections of the substance to herself and the other 15-year-old girl who lived with Mr Azaglo and his wife.
“He would come into our room at night, and I would be too afraid to say anything. He will inject us, and we’ll fall asleep almost immediately,” Ama Dogo said.
After about 4 months of stay with Mr. Azaglo, Ama Dogo was rescued. This was not until the other 15-year-old girl who had stayed with Mr. Azaglo longer reported to her teacher that their caregiver administered them a substance which always pushed them into a deep sleep almost immediately. This left them with pain, injury, and blood in their genitals in the mornings.
Ama Dogo said Mr. Azaglo told them the injections were for protection.
Ama also said the doctor who conducted examinations on her and the other girl upon police request prescribed Cefuroxime, Oral Tablets to treat infections. She said that the doctor added that the examinations revealed that they had sex regularly even though she did not remember ever having sex.
The social worker Kafui Kpodo corroborated Ama’s claims adding that the medical report and empty injection vials found in the suspect’s house were presented to the police to aid their investigations.
It is commonplace to hear that several sexual-violence-against-girl-child charges are dropped prior to court hearings even when there seems to be enough evidence to prove guilt.
In the case of Ama Dogo and the other girl, Mr. Azaglo and his wife visited the families of the victims to plead for a discontinuation of the case.
The father of Ama Dogo said “The suspect had paid me a visit to request that the matter be handled out of the courts. But I refused. I think that justice has to be served.”
Godwin Yao Nsembe, Chairman of the Kokomba Workers Association in Nkwanta said “These occurrences are becoming one too many and have to come to an end at a point. We need to come together as a community to protect our children and ensure that perpetrators face the full force of the law.”
The Oti Regional Director for Social Welfare Innocent Agbolosu said his office was doing “everything in our power to ensure that justice is served for the victims.”
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that “at least 120 million girls under the age of 20 – about 1 in 10 – have been forced to engage in sex or perform other sexual acts, although the actual figure is likely much higher”.
The lack of prosecution of abusers means that many survivors do not receive justice, which can have long-lasting impacts on their physical and mental health, as well as their ability to lead fulfilling lives.
The case of Richard Morgan Azaglo is just one example of the pervasive problem of girl child abuse in many communities.
The father of the 13-year-old victim, in this case, stated, “We need to speak up and put an end to these occurrences.”
On March 23, 2023, the police arrested Richard Azaglo. He was however granted bail while police continued with their investigations.
After over two months since the arrest, substantive charges are yet to be pressed against Mr. Azaglo.
The Police Prosecutor in charge of Mr. Azaglo’s case, Nana Nkansah said the Police are still conducting investigations to be able to press a substantive charge.