Crime & Punishment of 2013-12-06

Five Musama Church elders fined

An Accra High Court has convicted five leaders of the Musama Disco Christo Church and fined them a total of GH¢25,000 for contempt of court.

The convicts, Rev. Juba Molda Jehu Appiah, Rev. H. K. Baah, Rev. Mockna Jeeba Fiifi Jehu Appiah, Rev. P. K Boamah and Rev. P.K. Charles Ampoful would each serve a month’s prison term if they fail to pay the fines.

They were ordered to pay GH¢5,000 each.

The court, presided over by Mr Justice E. F. Dzakpasu, however, acquitted and discharged three others.

They were Rev. James Kinkosa Addae, Rev. Issac Begyina and Rev. M. B. Adu Quansah.

Court restraint

On August 22, 2012, the High Court restrained the church from celebrating its Peace Festival 2012 or from organising any religious activities.

When the restraining order lapsed on August 31, 2012, the Agona Swedru District Police Commander also served a Circuit Court order for interim injunction on the church to prohibit it from carrying out “any festival” or “religious activity” at the headquarters of the church at Musano for 10 days.

The convicts on September 2, 2012 disobeyed the restraining orders and led the church to hold its normal Sunday worship service.

Sentencing

Handing down the sentence, the court observed that the activity offended the Circuit Court order prohibiting the church from observing any religious activity within the period of 10 days, beginning from August 31, 2012.

“It was not left to the church during that period to observe what it terms a ‘normal worship service’ which is a religious activity at any rate within the contemplation of the court,” the court stated.

The court was of the view that the circuit court had aimed at preventing any untoward mishap in the event the church or a section of it had congregated anytime during the period for any religious activity, be it the Peace Festival properly so-called, or an aspect of it.