UPDATE: Body of Lightning Victim Abandoned as Family Consults Nogokpo Shrine
The 17-year-old boy who is believed to have been struck by lightning last Monday is still lying on the spot; a day after the incident.
Emmanuel Dorli was struck by lightning at about 4:00 pm on Monday, May 30, 2022, while in the company of two female friends.
Although personnel of the National Ambulance Service conveyed the two females to the Ho Municipal Hospital for treatment, Emmanuel’s body was left to pass the night at the scene.
Sources at the Hospital confirmed to Daily Guide that the two ladies have been discharged. Yet, the motionless body of Emmanuel still lies under the Mango tree where he fell after the lightning.
As of midday Tuesday morning, no one has attempted to move the body to the morgue. Only plantain leaves have been used to cover the body.
Hundreds of residents keep moving to and from the scene which is opposite the Volta Regional office of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG). A situation which has led to a traffic jam at that portion of the road which hitherto is a free-flowing road.
As of 10:00 am (Tuesday), different teams of Police personnel have been visiting the scene gathering intelligence. However, there has not been any attempt to move the body or some barricade to protect the scene apart from the superstitious fear of touching or going close to the body.
A senior member of the family of the deceased, Nicholas Nfodjo told Daily Guide that when the news got to them they were in shock and confused at the same time.
This is because Emmanuel who is a second-year student of Sokode Senior High Technical School (SOSTECH) is jovial, respectful, and hardworking. He sells coconut at a spot opposite PWD in Ho with some friends after school for his parents.
After consultation, the family reported the case to the Police and sent a delegation to the Nogokpo Shrine in the Ketu South Municipality for consultation.
The delegation left on Monday night. However as of 10:00 am on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, they were yet to hear from them. The delegation was made up of the family head, Samuel Frank Nfodjo, and Daniel Kwao, Grandfather of the deceased.
He said the response from the shrine will settle the confusion as to whether the lightning was spiritually invoked or by a natural occurrence. It will also pave way for the body to be conveyed and laid to rest appropriately.
Williams Amuzu Agbodzalu, the Regent of Nogokpo, the community that hosts the Nogokpo shrine in a phone interview with Daily Guide said the shrine cannot speak to the incident in Ho without the knowledge or consultation of the family.
He did not confirm or deny the involvement of the shrine but explained that the shrine is a Thunder and Lightning Deity. It only operates to establish the truth.
Thus, a person could be struck by the lightning of the deity if the person lies about an act after several queries by an affected party.
The affected party will have to call on the deity to fish out whoever may be involved, particularly persons who had the opportunity, to tell the truth, but did not.
When such persons are struck by the lightning, the family can either convey the body to the shrine or consult the shrine to convey the body.
The body is not buried nor sent to the morgue, instead, some rituals will be performed to clean it as well as relatives of the affected person. The body is then preserved with special herbs and kept in a Ritual Forest for annual rituals and pacification.
Togbe Agbodzalu said the forest has hundreds of such bodies spanning over 300 years.
Meanwhile, a tour of the scene on Tuesday morning showed that the shops close to the spot where the incident happened remained closed.
A lady who sells roasted corn and plantain left her wares untouched after the incident on Monday.
Benches and tables close to the spot remain untouched and unmoved as several residents keep trooping in to catch a glimpse of what many suspects is spiritual death.