The General Overseer of the Glorious Word Power Ministry International, Rev. Isaac Owusu Bempah, and four of his church members are to spend one week in police custody, as they were remanded by the Accra Circuit Court yesterday for allegedly threatening to kill the self-acclaimed evangelist, Patricia Oduro Koranteng, aka Nana Agradaa.
Meanwhile Daily Graphic checks indicate that Rev. Owusu Bempah complained of ill-health in the evening and was rushed to the Police Hospital. Three policemen who he alleged injured last Sunday are also responding to treatment.
The court, presided over by Ms Afia Owusuaa Appiah, remanded the accused persons after she had refused a bail application by their lawyer.
According to the court, the accused persons were arrested last Sunday and, therefore, it would be in the interest of justice for them to be remanded to give the police ample time to conduct investigations into the case.
“Accordingly, the application for bail is refused and the accused persons are remanded into police custody to reappear on September 20, 2021,” Ms Appiah ruled.
Prosecutors have accused Rev. Owusu Bempah of storming Nana Agradaa’s house with 45 heavily built men (macho men) and threatening to kill her.
One of his associate pastors, Mensah Ofori, and another church member now at large are alleged to have threatened to kill Nana Agradaa, while Michael Boateng, Frederick Ohene and Nathaniel Agyekum, all members of the popular pastor’s security team, and other church members, are alleged to have assaulted policemen who went to the church last Sunday to effect the arrest of their spiritual leader.
Rev. Owusu Bempah has pleaded not guilty to offensive conduct conducive to the breach of peace and threat of death, while the other accused persons have pleaded not guilty to offensive conduct conducive to the breach of peace, threat of death and assault of public officers.
Media men attacked
The accused persons were brought to the court under heavy police escort, with many members of the church trooping to the court premises to support their leader.
Journalists who went to the court to cover the case had a torrid time. Majority of them were prevented from entering the courtroom, while those who entered were threatened by some of the church members for writing about the case.
Outside the courtroom, the church members pounced on journalists, directed abusive words at them and tried to destroy their cameras for making attempts to take photos of Rev. Owusu Bempah as he was being led out into police custody.
Lead counsel for the accused persons, Mr Gary Nimako Marfo, urged the court to grant his clients bail, with the argument that they were not flight risk and would always appear before the court to defend themselves.
Counsel submitted that his clients had permanent places of abode and competent people to stand surety for them and would never interfere with investigations when granted bail.
He further urged the court to take into consideration the 1992 Constitution, which made all accused persons innocent until proven guilty, and the Supreme Court decision which made all offences bailable at the discretion of a judge.
‘Please, graciously grant them bail pending trial,” Mr Nimako Marfo prayed the court.
The prosecutor, Chief Inspector Simon Terkpetey, opposed the plea for bail and submitted that investigations into the case were still ongoing.
According to him, the accused persons were arrested last Sunday and sent to court yesterday to satisfy the 48-hour constitutional provision.
“Investigations are still ongoing. As we speak now, some of the policemen who were assaulted are still on admission, and we do not know what will happen to them,” he said.
The court upheld the prosecutor’s arguments and, accordingly, refused the bail application.
Presenting the prosecution’s facts, Chief Inspector Terkpetey said Rev. Owusu Bempah and 45 heavily built men had gone to Nana Agradaa’s house to attack her, with the men shouting: ‘We will kill you!!!’
He said Rev. Owusu Bempah instructed the men to bring Nana Agradaa out of the house and teach her a lesson.
The police, he said, rushed to the scene and prevented any potential bloodshed.
According to him, after the said incident, the police invited both Nana Agradaa and Rev. Owusu Bempah, but Rev. Owusu Bempah ignored the police invitation.
The prosecutor said last Sunday, the police saw a viral video in which Ofori and two other members of the church were threatening to kill Nana Agradaa, for which reason they went to Dansoman and arrested Ofori, while other officers went to Rev. Owusu Bempah’s church to arrest the others.
“The first accused, on seeing the policemen, ordered his church members to beat and kill them. He further ordered the church members to march to the Dansoman Police Station to free those arrested.
“The church set upon the policemen and beat them up, amid the firing of gunshots, disarmed the police of two service rifles and vandalised their car,” the prosecutor added.
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