Accra, May 7, GNA - Three organisers of Christ Embassy Pneumatic All Night church service have appeared before an Accra Circuit Court.
They are Alex Asomani, Wilson Delali Agyemang, Kumi Nutifafa.
The three have been charged with conspiracy to commit crime namely: failing to comply with restrictions imposed and failing to comply with restrictions imposed.
Also in the dock was Edmond Dapaah, the facility Manager of the Fantasy Dome at Trade Fair Centre.
He is being held on the charge of abetment of crime.
All the accused persons have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The Court has, however, directed the prosecution to take amend the charge relating failing to comply with restrictions imposed, as it found it to be defective.
The Court, presided over by Mrs Ellen Ofei Ayeh, then preserved three of the accused persons plea on the defective charge.
The trial judge ascertained that the accused persons’ places of abode and their occupation, saying the defence counsel failed to address her on those areas.
The accused have been, subsequently, granted bail in the sum of GHC 80,000 with two sureties each, who are gainfully employed or are public/civil servants earning not less than GHC 1,400.
The investigator was ordered by the court to investigate the residence of sureties, while the sureties are to deposit their passport pictures with the court.
The accused are expected to reappear on May 24.
Prior to the bail, Nana Beyin Arhin, who represented the organisers of the all-night church service, prayed for bail, saying they would appear in court whenever they were needed.
Jerry Avernorgbor, counsel for Dapaah, told the court that his client did not deserve to be in court and he would prove that during the trial.
Mr Avernorgbor said his client would not interfere with investigations but would rather assist.
The Defence Counsel said the accused had sufficient sureties who were ready to sign his bail bond.
Prosecuting, Chief Inspector Simon Apiorsornu narrated that the Police gathered intelligence that the youth wing of Christ Embassy Church, Ghana, had organized an all-night service dubbed, “Pneumatic Night” at the Fantasy Dome within the Trade Fair Center, without obeying COVID-19 safety protocols.
He said a video footage of the said church service was also cited on various social media platforms and in the video, it was observed that, the congregants were not wearing face or nose mask.
Chief Inspector Apiorsornu said upon the intelligence gathered, the police proceeded to the Trade Fair Center where they met the head of security of the center, Justice Tuuru Konlan.
The prosecutor said the security confirmed to Police that the Christ Embassy Church organised the said programme on the 30th of April, this year, from about 2000 hours at the Fantasy Dome within the Trade Fair Center and closed in the morning of May 1.
The Management of the Fantasy Dome did not officially inform the Management of Trade Fair Center about the said programme, he said.
The prosecutor said the Police conducted an inspection within the Fantasy Dome, as well as the Round Pavilion.
“Upon the measurement of the intervals between the arranged chairs, it was observed that the one-metre rule of social distancing between congregants was not observed,” he said.
“Also, there was no fresh air ventilation and that the church relied on air conditioners.”
According to the Prosecutor, further enquiries revealed that the programme exceeded the maximum two-hour duration.
Consequently, Asomani, Agyeman, Nutifafa were the Organizers of the all-night church service were arrested by the Police.
The Prosecution said Dapaah, the facility manager of the Fantasy Dome was also arrested by the police for questioning.
In their investigation and cautioned statements, Chief Inspector Apiorsornu said the accused persons could not give any tangible reasons for flouting the COVID-19 protocols.