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General News of Friday, 27 August 2021


Christ Embassy ‘Pneumatic Night’ case adjourned to September 27

The court did not sit for proceedings on August 27 The court did not sit for proceedings on August 27

The case in which some three members of the Christ Embassy Church and the facility manager of Fantasy Dome have been charged for violating Covid-19 restriction orders imposed by the President has been adjourned to September 27.

The accused persons Alex Asomani, Wilson Delali Agyemang, Kumi Nutifafa, all members of the Church, were charged with conspiracy to commit a crime and three counts of failing to comply with the restrictions imposed on religious bodies.

While Edmund Dapaah, the Facility Manager at the Fantasy Dome of the International Trade Fair Centre, was charged for Abetment of crime.

They have all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In court on Friday, August 27, when the parties appeared for Case Management Conference, there was no show, as the court did not sit.

Lawyers of the accused persons, together with the prosecutor, Chief Inspector Simon Apiorsornu, were informed about the development by the Clerk and subsequently agreed on the date.

At the last court sitting on July 16, the Circuit Court presided over by Her Honour Mrs Ellen Offei Aryeh refused an application filed by Management of Fantasy Dome for it to be unlocked.

The short ruling of the court said it is not clear who ordered the closure of the facility.

The court said an application of such nature required that the Inspector General of Police be made a party to help the court since the Police have been mentioned as the body that put the facility under lock.

It is the court's ruling that it never ordered the closure of the facility, while the prosecution also stated it had no idea who ordered the closure of the facility.

The court said, though it shares the applicant's concerns, it does not have the jurisdiction to grant the request before her.

The application she said is refused and subsequently struck it out.

On July 1, Management of the Fantasy Dome at the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre moved a motion for the reopening of the facility and other third-party lockdown equipment.

Following the arrest of some four persons in connection with the Christ Embassy Pneumatic Night concert, which was said to have been held in violation of Covid-19 protocols, the Police have locked up the Fantasy Dome at the Trade Fair Centre in Accra since April 30, 2021.

Amended charge sheet

The prosecution had earlier amended the charge sheet of the substantive case of the four accused persons arraigned for their involvement in the breach of COVID-19 protocols during the "Pneumatic Night" all-night service.

The event was held by the youth wing of the Christ Embassy Church.

The four were admitted to bail in the sum of GH¢80,000 each with two sureties after the amendments.

Brief facts

Chief Inspector Apiorsornu told the court that on May 4, 2021, 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 Centre without obeying COVID-19 safety protocols.

According to him, the 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 masks.

"Upon the intelligence gathered, the Police proceeded to the Trade Fair Centre, where the Head of Security of the Centre in the person of Justice Tuuru Konlan was met," he said.

He said the Head of Security confirmed to the Police that the Christ Embassy Church organized the said programme on April 30, 2021, at about 2000 hours at the Fantasy Dome within the Trade Fair Centre and closed on May 1, 2021, in the morning.

According to the Prosecutor, Konlan added that the Management of the Fantasy Dome did not officially inform the Management of the Trade Fair Centre about the said programme.

He said the Police conducted an inspection within the Fantasy Dome as well as the Round Pavilion, and upon the measurement of the intervals between the arranged chairs, it was observed that the one-meter rule of social distancing between congregants was not observed.

The prosecutor also said there was no fresh air ventilation and that the Church relied on air conditioners.

He said further inquiries revealed that the programme exceeded the maximum two-hour duration.

On May 6, 2021, Asomani, a National Service Personnel (A1), Agyeman an Entrepreneur (A2), Kumi, a Businessman (A3), who were the organizers of the all-night Church service, were arrested by the Police.

The prosecutor said the Police also arrested Dapaah for questioning, and in their cautioned statements, they could not give any tangible reasons for flouting the COVID-19 protocols.

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