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Crime & Punishment of Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Source: GNA

Catechist remanded for defrauding church

Juaso (Ash), Feb. 26, GNA- Gordon Osei Boakye, Catechist of the Konongo Bethel Presbyterian Church, has been remanded by the Juaso Circuit Court for defrauding the church of Gh¢7,000.

Boakye, who was charged with defrauding by false pretence, pleaded not guilty and would re-appear on March 5.

Police Chief Inspector Kippo Iddrisu Mahama, who presented the facts of the case, told the court presided over by Mr Jacob Boon that the complainants were Superintendent Ministers while the accused was a catechist, all belonging to the same church. In 2005, the church expressed the desire to purchase a 33-seater bus to help facilitate activities of the church and Boakye offered to assist in its acquisition.

Chief Inspector Mahama said being a member of the church, his credibility was not doubted hence an initial amount of Gh¢6,000 out of Gh¢15,000, which he claimed was the cost of the bus was paid to him on condition that the difference would be paid when he delivered the bus. He, however, came later for another Gh¢1,000 and promised to deliver the bus in two weeks only to present an impostor as a car dealer, who would purchase the bus on behalf of the church. The prosecution said the impostor then informed the church that he had imported some vehicles but did not include 33-seater bus and therefore invited them to inspect an old 508 Benz bus, which the church rejected.

The catechist was then asked to refund the Gh¢7,000 paid to him but he rather got angry.

The prosecution said after two years of persistent demand for the money by the church, the accused rather petitioned the Kumasi office of the Attorney General's Department, claiming that he was being harassed in a civil matter.

Chief Inspector Mahama said unfortunately the law office advised that he should be prosecuted hence his appearance in court.

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