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Obinim not ‘criminal’ to be handcuffed – Atta Akyea

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 Source: classfmonline.com

Bishop Daniel Obinim’s lawyer, Mr Samuel Atta Akyea, has said handcuffing his client like a “common criminal is not dignifying at all.”

Bishop Obinim was arrested on Tuesday by the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service. He is being investigated for defrauding a complainant of GHS11.6million by false pretences. “This is the story for which he is being charged and for which they said he would not be admitted to bail,” Mr Atta Akyea told Prince Minkah on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show on Wednesday.

He spent Tuesday night in cells and has been going through the bail process on Wednesday at the Nima Police Station where he was transferred. Hundreds of his church members massed up at the station to demand his release. He was subsequently taken to an undisclosed location believed to be the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) after his fans struggled with the police during his transfer to the CID headquarters.

Mr Akyea, however, expressed strong reservations about how his client has been treated. “…What was very sad for me was that the man [had] voluntarily gone to the police station and you handcuff him. You could see today he’s been at the front pages of the Ghanaian Times and the Daily Graphic as if the nation hasn’t got anything serious to discuss, as if they need this kind of pictures to overshadow the Montie FM issues and I’m embarrassed by it. I don’t think that the nation should stoop that low; we have more serious things to look at, not Obinim’s matters,” he said.

In Mr Atta Akyea’s view, fraud allegations are normal issues which need not be blown out of proportion for propaganda purposes. “They are normal things; if you’ve practised criminal law before, they are very normal – fraud and, even, murder. So, if you look at priority and what is important to Ghana, do not make normal things extraordinary. If you did that then you have a motive.”

“If you look at what is topical, it’s as if this is supposed to overshadow issues concerning the pardoning of these individuals [Montie 3], so, please, this is my view and I think they’ve made it too melodramatic. A man who is known and notorious should be handcuffed? What for? Where is he running to? Do you know who is supposed to be handcuffed? The hardened criminals who they’ve been searching for years and when they are so arrested, for fear that they might bolt, they handcuff them. So, what is the drama about? What is it that somebody is trying to secure? I don’t understand.”

According to Mr Atta Akyea, although “due process was followed” in effecting the arrest of his client, “the drama and propaganda was needless”.

“You don’t handcuff somebody who you know is decent, that’s what it is. …He is not a hardened criminal to be handcuffed and then used on the front pages of newspapers as if this is the most important issue that happened to Ghana. Treating him like common criminal is not dignifying,” he added.

Source: classfmonline.com
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