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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ya-Na's Murder Case: Abudus Stage Demo at Court

Wednesday, April 28, 2010
By Stephen Kwabena Effah

Sympathizers and supporters of the nine persons being prosecuted for the murder of the Overlord of Dagbon, Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II, yesterday besieged the premises of the Fast Track High Court in Accra to protest against their trial.

The more than 300 demonstrators believed to be Abudus, had by 9:30 am gathered in front of the three-storey building which also house the Accra Human Rights High Court where the nine appeared to move their bail application. The gathering was however, peaceful.

The accused - Iddrisu Iddi, 76; Alhaji Baba Abdulal, 56; Kwame Alhassan, 53; Yidana Sugri, 42; Mohammed Kojo, 45; Mahamadu Abdulai, 57; Sayibu Mohammed, 34; Yakubu Mahamadu, 42, and Alhassan Braima - are charged with the murder of the Ya-Na in 2002.
They were arrested on April 10, this year, and arraigned before an Accra Magistrate’s Court on three counts of conspiracy to murder, murder and unlawful military training on April 12. Their plea was not taken, and they have been remanded to appear again on May 5.

Their counsel have since challenged the justification of their remand and filed a bail application at the Human Rights Court which fixed yesterday, to hear the application for bail pending investigations.

The court, presided over by Justice U.P Dery, after hearing the arguments of both sides yesterday, adjourned to May 18, to rule on whether to grant the application for bail.

The supporters and sympathizers, including some relatives of the nine accused, occupied the 24-seater courtroom, while those bearing placards with various inscriptions, filled the court premises.

Some of the inscriptions read: “ Ya-Na killed himself,” “No justice, No peace in Dagbon,” “President Mills, your actions are selective,” “We, the Abudus are indigenous family in Dagbon,” “President Mills, please free M’ba Dugu and co. for peace to prevail in Yendi,” and “J.J. Rawlings, please it’s time to provide your evidence”.

A number of heavily-armed police personnel we also took vantage positions at the court premises to maintain law and order, as well as ensure the safety of the nine persons.

After the court proceedings, the supporters cheered on the nine persons as they were marched by armed police men to board a waiting truck behind the court building, while others, mostly women, shed tears as they waved at the accused persons. Moving the application for bail, Mr Atta Akyaa, lead counsel for the nine persons, said the remand of his clients was unjustifiable, in view of his contention that no formal charges had been preferred against them, describing the situation as “fanciful”.

He argued that without committal, no one can assert a proper charge of murder against his clients, indicating that “the only time that it becomes a murder case is when they have been committed to stand trial.”

However, he told the court, that the prosecution had not been able to provide bill of indictment and summary of evidence to warrant the remand that was granted by the magistrate court.

Mr. Akyea said the magistrate was misled by the prosecution to believe that the case was a murder one, which, he said, disarmed the magistrate to refuse bail for his clients, saying “the magistrate misunderstood her jurisdiction”.

Further, he said that although brief facts are suppose to explain why a particular charge has been preferred against someone, he noted that in their case, the facts presented by the prosecution at the magistrate’s court was on the contrary.

"The facts traced the history of the fight between the Abudus and the Andanis….nowhere (in the facts) was it said the arrest (of the nine) was as a result of the murder of Ya-Na,” he pointed out.
He said the magistrate should have taken Article 14 into consideration to establish whether the prosecution demonstrated reasonable and cogent grounds that his clients were indeed linked to Ya-Na’s murder.

Again, he said the prosecution was wrong for arraigning Sugri who, he said, was acquitted and discharged by a competent court in the same Ya-Na’s murder case.

According to Mr. Akyea, per Article of 19 (7) Sugri should not have been arraigned at all, describing the situation as “double jeopardy”.

Mr. Akyea said the argument made by the prosecution at the lower court to the effect that the release of his clients could interfere with investigations was serious, saying that it would go to suggest that the whole of Ghana’s security is impotent.

He said that even the prosecution failed to demonstrate reasonable grounds how his nine clients could interfere with a whole National Security investigation.

“No shred of evidence was put before the magistrate court that the applicants have the capacity to interfere with National Security…It is as if the whole of National Security cannot control these individuals,” he added.

He described the situation where suspects were arrested and remanded before investigations were conducted as “justice upside down”

Opposing the bail application, Chief State Attorney Anthony Rexford Owiredu insisted that the applicants were properly charged, noting that their charge caution statement was taken in the presence of an independent witness.

However, he conceded that the bill of indictment and summary of evidence had not been prepared as required in murder cases, adding that these were being prepared.

According to him, from his 22-year legal experience, this has been one of the fastest case the Attorney General’s Department is doing.

He explained that the prosecution did not take the plea of the applicants when they were arraigned at the lower court because the law that create the charge of murder stipulate that such cases be tried by a High Court by an indictment.

The Chief State Attorney said their arrangement at the lower court was just to seek their remand while the bill of indictment and summary of evidence was being prepared to properly put them before a High Court.

“My lord, they cannot be committed within 48 hours….we need time to write and prepare the bill of indictment and summary of evidence,” he argued.

Mr. Owiredu also said that in view of the fact that the case is about murder and by virtue of Section 96 (7) of the Criminal Procedure Act, bail cannot be given to the applicants, saying “it’s proper the lower court did not grant them bail”.

He indicated that the re-arrest and prosecution of Sugri and the others was based on the recommendations of the Wuako Commission’s recommendation, noting that even Sugri had in the current case been charged with only unlawful military training.

The Chief State Attorney said a lot more people recommended by the Commission for prosecution were at large and thus it would not be healthy to release the applicants since they could interfere with investigations.

He also debunked the defence’s claim that the applicants were being used as guinea pigs, saying “there is substantial evidence against them and we will prove that at the High Court.”

He said “everything possible is being done to put them before a High Court before the end of May”.

THE G.I.A. CASE: 22 Counts For Accused

Tuesday, April 27, 2010
By Stephen Kwabena Effah

THE number of government officials in the Kufuor administration being tried for their complicity in the liquidation of the Ghana Airways and the formation of the Ghana International Airline Limited, yesterday came to four.

Three of them, Dr Richard Anane, former Minister of Transportation; Dr Anthony Akoto-Osei, former Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning; and Kwadwo Mpiani, former Presidential Affairs Minister, together with Sammy Crabbe, former Greater Accra
Regional Chairman of the NPP, had been put before court on March 31.

However, when the court resumed sitting yesterday, the Attorney-General added the former Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Professor George Gyan- Baffour.
The five accused persons now variously face 22 counts of conspiracy, willfully causing financial loss to the state, defrauding by false pretences, deceit of public officer, misapplication of public funds, opening of an offshore account without authority from Bank of Ghana, and stealing.

Previously, the four men faced 13 counts.They have all pleaded not guilty to the charges and the case has been adjourned to May 10.
Meanwhile, the court has granted Prof. Gyan-Baffour GH¢300,000 self-cognisance bail, and granted him leave to attend a conference in Tanzania between May 11 and 13, following a request from the Clerk of Parliament.

The other accused persons were admitted to their formal bail of GH¢300,000 self-cognisance bail each.
Four more people who were not named, are said to be outside the jurisdiction of the court.
When the case was called, Mrs. Gertrude Aikins, Director of Public Prosecutions, told the court, presided over by Justice Bright Mensah, that the prosecution intended to add Prof. Gyan-Baffour to the case, and thus sought to substitute the charge sheet with a new one.
The court consequently discharged Dr. Anane, Dr. Akoto-Osei, Mr. Mpiani and Mr. Crabbe on the 13 charges, after which the new charge sheet was admitted.
Currently, Dr. Anane is facing three counts of conspiracy, willfully causing financial loss to the state, and defrauding by false pretence, while Dr. Akoto-Osei is facing nine counts of conspiracy, deceit of public officer, willfully causing financial loss to the state and misapplication of public funds.
Mr. Mpiani, on his part, is charged with three counts of conspiracy, deceit of public officer, and causing financial loss to the state, with Mr. Crabbe facing five counts of opening an offshore account without authority, conspiracy, stealing and willfully causing financial loss to the state.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour is facing six counts of conspiracy, deceit of public officer and willfully causing financial loss to the state.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Aikins has apologized to Prof. Gyan-Baffour for creating the impression that he refused an invitation to appear for interrogation by the security agencies. This was after his counsel had raised issues with the impression by Mrs.Aikins.
His counsel, Nene Amegatcher, told the court that the action by the prosecution “has unfairly prejudiced my client”.
But Mrs. Aikins said: “It wasn’t as if I wanted to embarrass the professor” .
Giving the background to the case, Mrs. Aikins said following the extremely poor operational and financial performance of Ghana Airways, the government sought, in 2002, for a strategic partner to help turn the fortunes of the crippled airline around.
Word quickly spread around concerning the government’s intentions and insiders, as well as outsiders, lined up to present their bids.
The prosecutor said Mr Crabbe tried to set up a call centre with his company, Mary Green Slade Information Services (MGIS), to service Ghana Airways but failed in his bid to clinch a deal.
She saidMr Crabbe, therefore, set out to create an opportunity for MGIS and presented a proposal to the erstwhile board of Ghana Airways on how he could turn the company around.
She said Mr Crabbe later rather submitted a proposal to form a new airline and sent four unsolicited proposals to the government and the Ghana Airways board.
Mrs Aikins said the four applications submitted to the government were presented to Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) for evaluation and in its letter dated January 9, 2004 to the erstwhile Chief Executive of Ghana Airways, Mr Philip Owusu, and Dr Richard Anane, the company categorically stated, “Our evaluation of the four proposals indicates that the proposal from the consortium of KLM Kenya Airways/Fidelity Group dated October 2003 and entitled, ‘Ghana Airways Restructuring Proposal’ achieved the best fit with the evaluation criteria set by the GA board.”

She said in order of merit, the technical evaluation rated KLM/Kenya Airways/Fidelity, 67 per cent; Ghana Air Partners, 51 per cent; Ghana International Airlines, 44 per cent, and Corporate Trade Solutions, 31 per cent.

She said although it was clear that the best technical and financial proposal was from the KLM group, Dr Anane “eliminated the company by shifting the goal post”. He later submitted the chosen plan, the Ghana International Airline, to Price Waterhouse Coopers for evaluation.
Mrs Aikins said the Price Waterhouse Coppers (PWC), in its final report of April 22, 2004, noted, that “In its current form, it is difficult to identify what benefits the plan offers to GoG. The GIA plan does not meet all the ministry’s requirements as specified.”

She added that the PWC, realising that the government was determined to go ahead with the deal anyway, advised thus: “The ministry should seek firm evidence from GIA of the commitment from potential financiers and other interested parties to the plan.”

Mrs Aikins said the PWC further advised that the ministry should undertake due diligence exercise on the GIA and its sponsors, to give itself the comfort that the new company would have adequate financial and managerial capacity to take over the commercial operations that Ghana Airways was currently responsible for.”

She said there was a Ghanaian partner, Unger Oaks Consult, which was the brain behind the consortium but it was conspicuously left out of the official press release signed by Dr Anane when the deal was consummated.

“The main object was, it appears, to hide at the initial stages before it was a done deal that Unger Oaks Consult, a Ghanaian company of little pedigree, was partner and potentially the most powerful one in the GIA consortium,” she said.
“In the privacy of Cabinet, Dr Anane, however, stated in the Cabinet Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Ghana and the Ghana International Airlines on Ghana Airways restructuring, among other things, that the draft of the MoU was being entered into between the Government of Ghana and the consortium of Sentry Financial International Inc, a Utah corporation, World Transport Group (WTG), a Utah corporation, and Unger Oaks Consult Ltd of Accra, collectively called Ghana International Airlines,” she added

Mrs Aikins said the Ghana International Airlines Ltd (GIAL) was incorporated in Accra on November 30, 2004 with a share capital of $7 million and it commenced business on December 20, 2004.

She said the Government of Ghana, through the Minister of Finance, holds 70 per cent share, equivalent to $4.9 million equity, and the GIA-USA-LLC, represented by R. Kirk Heaton, holding 30 per cent shareholding, equivalent to $2.1 million, with the management of the company given to the minority shareholder.

She said Mr Ralph Aikin, who was to become CEO, and the management were to find $55 million to implement the company’s business plan but they failed to do so.

Mrs Aikins said the prosecution would lead evidence to show that despite the existence of all those factors, Mpiani, Osei Akoto and Gyan-Baffuor unlawfully disbursed or authorised the disbursement of the colossal sum of $56 million to the then floundering GIAL.

In the case of Mpiani, she said, he usurped the power of the President at the time by authorising the release of the sum of $6 million to GIAL.

Osei-Akoto, she added, signed an agreement with the Social Security and National InsuranceTrust (SSNIT) for a loan of $15 million as additional equity for the government but misapplied it.

“The prosecution will also prove that the tenure or period of management of the so-called strategic partners was fraught with blatant action of recklessness and corruption,” she added.

Yendi Suspects Appeal to Human Rights Court

Monday, April 26, 2010
By Stephen Kwbena Effah.

THE nine persons standing trial for the murder of the Overlord of Dagbon, Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II, in 2002, are seeking bail at the Human Rights Court in Accra.

Iddrisu Iddi, 76; Alhaji Baba Abdulal, 56; Kwame Alhassan, 53; Yidana Sugri, 42; Mohammed Kojo, 45; Mahamadu Abdulai, 57; Sayibu Mohammed, 34; Yakubu Mahamadu, 42 and Alhassan Braima, 40, have filed an application to that effect.

Their action was prompted by the refused of the Accra Magistrate Court to grant them bail on April 12, when they were first arraigned on various charges of conspiracy to commit murder, murder and unlawful military training.

The nine, whose plea were not taken, are due to make their second appearance at the Magistrate’s Court on May 5.

The nine, however, appeared before the Human Rights Court on Friday where their lawyers were expected to have moved their application for bail.

But when the case was called for the application to be moved, Nana Obiri Boahen, one of the defence counsel, told the court that they had not been served with a copy of an affidavit in opposition filed by the Attorney-General’s Department.

The court thus adjourned to April 27, to enable the A-G to serve the applicants to enable them to respond appropriately.

Mr. Obiri Boahen told journalists after the court proceedings that their contention had to do with the fact that the detention of their clients was improper and a violation of their fundamental human rights.

According to him, under the law, accused persons were not supposed to be remanded in custody for more than 14 days, noting that the Magistrate’s Court erred in remanding the accused persons into custody for more than three weeks.

Mr. Obiri Boahen said that although his clients had been charged, their plea had not been taken adding that no bill of indictment had been prepared by the state to cover the case.

He argued that once it was a murder case, the state ought to have prepared a bill of indictment and summary of evidence.

Court to Decide on Sipa Yankey

Saturday, April 24, 2010
By Stephen Kwabena Effah

THE Human Rights Court in Accra, will on May 20, rule CHRAJ should resume its investigation into the alleged Mabey and Johnson bribery scandal to exclusively hear the former Health Minister Dr. George Sipa Yankey.
The court, presided over by Justice U.P. Dery, fixed the date yesterday after counsel for both parties made their submissions on their respective stands.
Dr. Yankey on April 8, filed an application for mandamus to compel CHRAJ to give him an expeditious hearing in its investigations into the scandal in view of the indefinite suspension of investigations into the matter.

CHRAJ had earlier in a statement issued on April 1, announced that it had suspended hearing into the scandal in view of an order of prohibition pending at the High Court against it.

But in court yesterday, its counsel, Thaddeus Sory said that although CHRAJ was opposed to the application by Dr.Yankey, it was prepared to hear him if the Human Rights Court gave the green-light.

Opposing the application, he said “it is not by might” that investigation into the scandal was suspended, by but that, CHRAJ could not risk to hear Dr. Yankey, irrespective of the fact that he was not part of those seeking an order of prohibition against it.

According to him, the application for an order of prohibition did not state that it was in respect of those who filed it, rather, it was couched to cover the entire investigations into the alleged scandal.

“We are not opposed to investigating him (Dr.Yankey),” Mr. Sory pointed out, adding that “it is the prevailing circumstance that has led us to suspend investigations into the scandal”.

Touching on Dr. Sipa-Yankey’s claim that CHRAJ’s decision constituted a violation of his rights under the Constitution, Mr. Sory argued that CHRAJ had not in anyway violated the ex-Minister’s fundamental human rights.

He contended that the basis upon which CHRAJ suspended its investigation into the alleged scandal could not be considered to be causing unreasonable delay, adding that Dr. Yankey had not been able to establish a right under Article 19 (13) to warrant an application for mandamus.

Mr. Kwame Gyan, counsel for Dr.Yankey, earlier argued that CHRAJ’s action constituted a “blatant and flagrant violation” of his client’s constitutional rights and freedoms as contained in the country’s constitution.

According to him, the order of prohibition being sought by other respondents in the scandal would not have any ramification on his client’s case because there was no situation of joint charges, if any, in the scandal.

He told the court that each of the respondents in the scandal were standing in their personal capacity and “there is no joint or several liability. Let’s de-couple his matter from the rest involved and treat each on its own merit”.

Mr. Gyan contended that the failure and/or refusal of CHRAJ to give Dr. Yankey an expeditious hearing was causing him “grave pain and anguish, hardship and suffering” as there was no clear indication as to when the public hearing would resume.

He said Dr.Yankey had to resign his post in October 2009 to devote time and energy to clear his name when CHRAJ commenced its investigations into the scandal.

Dr. Yankey is seeking an order of certiorari to quash CHRAJ’s indefinite suspension of its hearing into the scandal with regards to himself, as well as an order of mandamus to compel it to grant him an expeditious hearing in the scandal.

It is recalled that CHRAJ on March 15, began a public hearing into allegations of corruption against Baba Kamara, an agent of M&J, a British engineering firm; Brigadier-General Lord Attivor, a PNDC Secretary for Roads and Highways; Dr. Atto Quarshie, a former NDC Minister, and Alhaji Seidu, a former Deputy Minister of Roads and Highways.

The rest are Mr. Kwame Peprah, a former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning; Dr. George Sipa Yankey, former Head of the Legal and Private Sector Unit, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, and Alhaji Abubakar Sadique Boniface, a former Minister of Works and Housing in the previous administration.

CHRAJ empanelled Justice Emile Short as chairman, with Ms. Anna Bossman, Deputy Commissioner (Legal and Investigations) and Richard Quayson, Deputy Commissioner (Public Education and Anti-corruption), as members.

The public hearing was to enable CHRAJ, after preliminary investigations, to produce evidence in support of its case, call witnesses in support of that evidence, afford the respondents the opportunity to state their cases and produce witnesses after which a decision would have been reached.

However, at its first hearing on March 15, Mr Samuel Cudjoe counsel for Baba Kamara, Samuel Cudjoe, raised objection that CHRAJ had no mandate to investigate his client because at the time of the alleged corruption, he was not a public official.

CHRAJ consequently adjourned to March 29 to rule on whether it had the mandate to investigate Baba Kamara or not, but before Mr Justice Short could give the ruling, Mr. Cudjoe asked CHRAJ to “stay put” on its intended ruling, contending that it would undermine the determination of an application for an order of prohibition pending at the High Court against the Commission.

The intervention forced CHRAJ to defer its ruling and adjourn sitting to April 7, to rule on Mr. Cudjoe’s submission. But on April 1, it issued a statement that it had indefinitely suspended investigations into the case due to the application for judicial review.

Accused Pleaded for Case to be Dropped -- Witness

Thursday April 22. 2010
By Stephen Kwabena Effah

The Head Pastor of the Jesus Blood Prophetic Ministry, Nana Kwesi Yirenkyi, promised to give the mother of his 10-year old daughter a house to influence her to drop the case of his alleged defilement of the child, the Accra Circuit Court heard yesterday.

Sergeant Eunice Afelipok Atinya, the police officer who started investigations into the case, told the court that when Yirenkyi was transferred from Akropong to Accra after his arrest, he pleaded with the victim’s mother at the Ministry’s Police Station to let go of the matter.

She said the mother of the victim, replied that she needed to discuss the matter with her relatives before she could decide on his offer.

Nana Yirenkyi, popularly referred to as ‘Jesus Onetouch’, was arrested for allegedly defiling his 10-year old daughter, with whom he lived, and is being tried on two counts of defilement and incest.

He has pleaded not guilty to both charges, and is currently on police remand, having been refused bail three time.

Giving her evidence as the sixth prosecution witness, Sgt. Atinya told the court that Yirenkyi also begged the Akropong Divisional Commander of Domestic Violence Support Unit not to let the case come out.

She said that while taking caution statement from Yirenkyi, he requested to see the commander and when he was allowed, Yirenkyi “lay flat on the floor begging the Commander”.

“He (Yirenkyi) said he loved the girl so much that he did not want the case to come out,” Sgt. Atinya told the court.

Witness told the court that as the Commander refused to drop the case, Yirenkyi decided to beg the victim’s mother to withdraw the case so that he would give her a house in exchange, adding that that he “begged from day one till he was handed over to the Ministry’s DOVVSU in Accra”

Although Sgt. Atinya had earlier told the court that the accused was arrested in Accra, she said under cross-examination that Yirenkyi was arrested the Akropong DOVVSU office when he honoured the police invitation, and was transferred to Accra DOVVSU after his was talen.

On his part, the gynaecologist who first examined the victim, Dr. Bedford Simon Sarfo of the Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital at Mampong, told the court that the victim was not a virgin, and that her hymen was torn.

However, he said, that her vulva was normal.

Dr Sarfo said he examined the girl on February 23, and issued a said the report on February 25, after the police medical form was given him.

Another prosecution witness, Corporal Ransford Odae Djaba, of the Ministry’s DOVVSU, told the court that the case was referred to him for further investigations on March 5, 2010 after it was transferred from Akropong.

He said he issued a medical form to the victim for another examination at the Police Hospital in Accra, adding that the girl stated that her father defiled her on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

According to him, a caution statement was then taken from the accused.

According to Cpl.Djaba, he went to Yirenkyi’s home on March 11, with the victim who led them to the accused’s bedroom and pointed to a spot on the floor where she said her father had been having sexual escapades with her.

Cpt. Djaba said he interviewed all the occupants of the house.

Cpl.Djaba also told the court that Yirenkyi stated in his statement that the victim was defiled by his house-help, whose name he gave as Efo. Yirenkyi also claimed that Efo also defiled his step-daughter so he (Yirenkyi) even went to the SCC Police at Weija, to lodge a complaint but he was turned away.

However, Cpl. Djaba said his investigations revealed that the accused never went to the police station to make a complaint as claimed.

The case has been adjourned to April 26, for the prosecution to call its lost witness, a medical doctor.

Gushiegu Suspects Charged With Murder

Wednesday, April 21, 2010
By Stephen Kwabena Effah

ONE of the five people charged for their involvement in the September 2008 violence that resulted in the death of three persons and the destruction of property at Gushiegu in the Northern Region, has been remanded by an Accra Circuit Court.

Sandow Yebdow, who is facing one count of conspiracy to commit murder, was remanded by the court presided over by Mrs. Patience Mills-Tetteh, while the others were granted GH¢50,000 bail each with two sureties until May 11.

They are Abu Damba, Labaran Bawa, Labaran Salifu and Issifu Bawa. They are facing two counts of conspiracy and causing unlawful damage.

Four other persons charged with conspiracy to commit murder, are said to be on the run. They are Kpalsogu, Abubakari Shikura, Andani Bawa and Mohammed Immor, who was arrested but released by the police for lack of evidence in September 2008.

The September 1, 2008 violence at Gushiegu was a spill over from an earlier clash between supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at Kpatinga, a village near Gushiegu, on August 31, 2008.

The accused persons were said to be part of people who caused the violence that resulted in the death of three people, destruction of houses and cars.

Prosecuting, DSP P.K. Frimpong told the court yesterday, that investigation, were still ongoing, adding that the case docket would be sent to the Attorney General’s Department for advice upon the conclusion of the investigations.

He told the court that on August 31, 2008, some members of the NDC from Gushiegu went to Kpatinga, to erect party flags, and coincidentally, some NPP supporters were also at the village to put up a pavilion for their party.

According to the prosecution, a misunderstanding between the two sides arose resulted in a violent clash.

The two sides returned to Gushiegu and on the following day, the violence continued, DSP Frimpong said, adding that “they took the law into their hand and burnt 23 houses, three cars and three murders were also recorded”.

DSP Frimpong told the court that preliminary investigations revealed that Yebdow was among a group of five people who used sticks and other sharp implements to cause the death of Abubakari Ziblim, the chief of Naga, a surburb of Gushiegu.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Jesus One Touch Case: Prosecution Witness Gives Evidence In Camera

Tuesday March 30, 2010

By Stephen Kwabena Effah

THE 10-year-old girl allegedly defiled by Nana Kwasi Yirenkyi, Head Pastor of Jesus Blood Prophetic Ministry at Oblogo in Accra, yesterday gave an account of how her father had sex with her.

For more than two hours, the girl, her mother, the prosecution and Nana Yirenkyi and his counsel, were locked up in the judge’s chamber as the victim gave evidence as the second prosecution witness in the case.

Details of the girl’s evidence were not made known but insiders told the Times after the proceedings that the girl recounted how her father had sex with her before church services.

Popularly known as ‘Jesus One Touch’, Nana Yirenkyi, who has pleaded not guilty to two counts of defilement and incest, came out of the judge’s chamber looking somber and rushed straight to the washroom with a police escort.

The girl and her mother on the other hand showed some smiles on their faces after the proceedings.

The two were met outside the courtroom with insults by the members of the prophet’s congregation who thronged the court. The two were quickly whisked away by armed policemen.
The case has been adjourned to April 7 for continuation.

The defence team on March17 announced its intention to conduct a DNA test to establish who defiled the prophet’s 10-year-old daughter.

Mr K.N. Adomako Acheampong, counsel for the pastor, told the trial court presided over by Mrs. Georgina Mensah-Datsa, that the rationale behind the test “is to prove whether our sperm has entered the victim”.

The test, to be funded by the defence team, is to be conducted on Nana Yirenkyi, the accused and one Efo who, the pastor alleged, defiled his daughter. Efo was once Nana Yirenkyi’s houseboy.

According to the prosecution, the victim, who was born out of wedlock, had since lived with her mother until 2005 when she was sent to Nana Yirenkyi at McCarthy Hill in Accra to attend school.

The prosecution said between 2008 and 2009, Nana Yirenkyi started having intercourse with her daughter before church service.

In November 2009, the prosecution said Nana Yirenkyi requested the victim’s mother to come and talk to her for putting up a bad character.

It was at this stage that the victim revealed her ordeal to her mother who reported the matter to the police.