Court Orders Arrest Of Prophet For Allegedly Defiling Children
Court Orders Arrest Of Prophet For Allegedly Defiling Children Website
The Accra Regional Tribunal Wednesday issued a bench warrant for the immediate arrest of Prophet James Nana Akwesi Agyemang of Shiva Linga Church, who allegedly defiled eight children, for failing to appear before it. This followed an application by the State Attorney in the case that a warrant be issued for the arrest of the accused who failed to appear in court when he knew of the adjourned date. Although counsel for the accused, Raymond Bagnabu informed the court that his client had been hospitalized since the day his story was published in the DAILY GUIDE and so would need additional time to appear before it, the trial judge, Justice Frank Manu granted the request of the State Attorney on grounds that counsel failed to notify the court earlier. Aside this, the prosecution entered a nolle prosequi to discharge the accused person on six out of 8 counts of defilement from the tribunal without any explanation, but available information indicated that the accused would soon be put before the Fast Track High Court. A hot argument ensued between the prosecution and defence in respect of the nolle prosequi in which the defence accused the Attorney General’s Department of giving out a medical report in its custody, which had not yet been tendered as evidence, to the media to ‘lynch’ his client. In the said story, he said the DAILY GUIDE made direct reference to the report without stating that it was from a doctor or any other source, arguing that, that meant the AG’s Department had a hand in it. Counsel, who was of the view that his client had not been treated fairly, noted that the publication had already condemned the accused person in the mind of the public so if the prosecution wanted to try the accused in the media, they should do so. Mr. Bagnabu and Mr. Sampson Obeng, a colleague who said their worry was not with publication but the conduct of the AG, threatened to withdraw the case should the AG’s Department continue to feed the public with “lies”, adding that due to false information, it was published that only two witnesses had been called while in actual sense it was four. He prayed the court not to grant the application because prosecution was just looking for a judge who would do their bidding. In response, the prosecution denied what counsel said, and asked that counsel withdrew that statement since there was no evidence to prove it. Prosecution subsequently prayed the court not to pay attention to counsel, stressing that the AG’s Department had no connection with the publication which contained contents of the report. In his ruling, the trial judge indicated that the publication did not only embarrass the defence but also the State Attorneys and himself, adding that if counsel wished to withdraw the case, he could not prevent them because they brought the case before the court. Currently, the accused is facing two counts of defilement at the tribunal. The case has been adjourned to March 13, 2008 for further hearing. Nana Agyemang, who had pleaded not guilty to all the charges, is on a GH¢50,000 bail with two sureties. According to the facts of the case, the accused, who is the pastor in the Abidjan-based church, also runs a prayer group in Accra while all the complainants are members of the church or associated with the prayer group. In Ghana, the accused lives with a number of children including the victims, whose ages range between 3 and 12, in his residence at St John’s near Dome. According to the facts, these children were brought from Abidjan to the accused person to take care of them and provide them with the basic necessities of life, after arrangements had been made with their respective parents. The accused, it said, had on several occasions been secretly having sex with all the children in turns in his bedroom and bathroom. It revealed that in December 2006, a 12-year-old girl arrived from Abidjan to spend some holidays with the accused and his household and while there, the accused defiled her. So when she returned to Abidjan, she revealed her ordeal to the parents of three of the children staying with accused. The girl also informed them that the accused had been defiling most of the children in the house. When the parents contacted the children on telephone, they allegedly confirmed the story. However, when accused was contacted, he denied the allegation. The parents reported the matter to the police who issued a medical form for the children to attend hospital and a report from the hospital confirmed that they had indeed been defiled.