Ghana arraigns 8 pastors for conducting service despite lockdown directive
London, April 9, 2020 (AltAfrica)– Eight Ghanaian pastors who flouted lockdown order by holding church services have been arraigned in court and granted GH¢10,000.00 bail each with two sureties each, by the Asokwa District Court in Kumasi.
They are Apostle Kofi Nkansah Sarkodie, Leader and General Overseer of Open Arms Ministry at North Suntreso in Kumasi and his son, Kofi Nkansah Sarkodie Junior, administrator of the church.
Others are Apostle Moses Adebwenu, Pastors Eric Anim Acheampong, Richard Domfeh Mensah, Rexford Agyei, Johnson Addai and Richard Antwi, all of the True to Heaven Ministry at Atonso-Aprabon, in the Asokwa Municipality.
They have been charged with unlawful assembly by the police and will reappear before the court presided over by Mrs Rosemary Asante on April 26, this year.
The accused were arrested on Sunday March 22, this year, by the Ashanti Regional Police SWAT team, for conducting church services, contrary to the directives by the President for all churches to stop organising services as part of measures to control the spread of COVID-19.
Chief Superintendent Kofi Blagodze, prosecuting, told the court that the church leaders were apprehended separately at North Suntreso and Atonso-Aprabon, after the police got information that, they were holding church services in defiance of the directives by the government.
He said Apostle Sarkodie was once arrested on the same offence and granted police enquiry bail, but went on to defy the order and held another service on Sunday March 22, this year.
Chief Superintendent Blagodze, said the other six pastors were arrested separately for similar offence and brought before the court.
On Wednesday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa suspended one of his top ministers for two months, including one unpaid, after she was photographed having lunch with a friend in violation of a national lockdown to contain the coronavirus.