Crime & Punishment of 2014-01-10

Pastors abduct mad women

Three pastors from the Jesus Called Prayer Ministry at Apedwa and Mankesim who claimed to be on a mission to heal mentally deranged persons in the Krobo area have found themselves at the wrong side of the law after they were arrested for kidnapping two mad women.

The three men of God: Rev. Ashworth Kwame Amponsah, 33, Pastor Joseph Kwame, 26, and Pastor Kwame Amankwah, 40, said they were sending the mad women to Nkurakan, near Koforidua, to pray for their healing.

However, their accuser, who is also the complainant, and a taxi driver were not convinced about the pastors’ explanation and, therefore, sent them to the Odumase-Krobo Police Station.

After investigations, the police charged the pastors with conspiracy to commit crime and kidnapping and arraigned them before the Odumase-Krobo Circuit Court, presided over by Mr Asmah Akwasi Asiedu.

All the three men pleaded guilty with explanation to both charges.

They were, however, discharged and bonded to be of good behaviour for a period of six months or in default serve three months’ imprisonment.

Mr Asiedu, before passing the sentence, cautioned the three pastors that in doing the work of God, they should take into consideration the liberties and rights of all human beings.

He also told them that they did not have the right to capture mad persons from any community without the consent of the chief of that community or the police, and if possible their relatives.

According to Chief Inspector Tobias Amoadza, the complainant in the case lives at Salosi, a suburb of Somanya.

He said Rev. Amponsah, Pastor Kwame and Pastor Amankwah also claimed to be pastors of the Jesus Called Prayer Ministries at Apedwa and Mankesim with its headquarters at Kasoa in the Central Region.

The prosecutor said on August 8, 2013, at about 8:30 am, the complainant saw a taxi driven by a witness in the case with three men on board coming from the direction of Odumase-Krobo towards Somanya.

The complainant, Chief Inspector Amoadza stated, said the taxi stopped and the three pastors came out of it and pounced on a mad woman who was walking beside the road. They then shoved her into the taxi.

The prosecutor said the complainant hurriedly walked to the taxi and realised that there was another mad woman in it. He became suspicious and confronted the pastors.

According to the prosecutor, after a heated argument, they had to go to the police station to ascertain the truth or otherwise of their mission.

During police investigations, the pastors told the police that they were not going to harm the mad people but they were rather going to pray for them to be healed.

They further explained that they had held a similar prayer and healing session at Agormanya Market in Odumase-Krobo where some mad people were healed.