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General News of Friday, 16 July 2021

Source: kasapafmonline.com

Christ Embassy case: Court refuses application for reopening of Fantasy Dome

An inspection was conducted to determine that one-meter rule of social distancing was not observed An inspection was conducted to determine that one-meter rule of social distancing was not observed

The Circuit Court in Accra presided over by Her Honour Mrs Ellen Offei Aryeh has refused an application filed by Management of Fantasy Dome for it to be unlocked.

The court in its short ruling on Friday, July 16, 2021, said the court is not clear about who ordered the closure of the facility.

The court said an application of such nature required that the Inspector General of Police would 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 ruling of the court that, it never ordered for the closure of the facility while the prosecution also stated it had no idea who ordered the closure of the facility.

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

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

EIB Network’s Court Correspondent Murtala Inusah reports that the case has been adjourned to August 27, 2021, for Case Management Conference.

This was after the prosecution led by Chief Inspector Simon Appiorsornu informed the Court that, they will need time to file their witness statements.

According to him, though they have filed their disclosures, they were yet to file their witness statements.

The court prior to adjourning the case ordered prosecution to file on or before August 18 and ensure service on the accused persons three clearly days before the next sitting.

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.

About the motion

Moving the motion, Lord Delvin Essandoh holding brief for Mr Jerry Avenorgbo, Counsel for Mr Edmond Dapaah, the Facility Manager and fourth accused person (A4) in the case, said the instruments and equipment locked up belong to third parties.

According to him, the facility, which serves as a source of livelihoods for A4 and other employees has been closed to the public since April 30.

He argued further that, it also serves as a recording studio, where other economic activities take place.

“Currently, there is pressure on the Management of the facility from third party companies because of the instruments and equipment, which were hired for the programme,” counsel told the court.

To this end, Counsel prayed the Court for an order to reopen the Dome and release of the instruments and equipment to restore the livelihoods of the people at the facility.

The Prosecution led by Chief Inspector Simon indicated that the State was not opposed to the motion.

Amended charge sheet

At the last court sitting, the Prosecution amended the charge sheet of the substantive case of the four accused persons arraigned for their involvement in the breach of the COVID-19 protocols during the “Pneumatic Night” all-night Service.

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

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

While, Edmond 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.

Bail

They were admitted to their previous bail granted them in the sum of GH¢80,000 each with two sureties after the amendments.

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 Center 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 Center, where the Head of Security of the Center 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 Center 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 Trade Fair Center 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 enquiries 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 Dapaah, was also arrested by the Police for questioning and in their investigation cautioned statements, they could not give any tangible reasons for flouting the COVID-19 protocols.

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