Crime

Nigerian pastor granted GH¢10,000 bail

Mrs Joy Adeyele, the pastor who was arrested and charged for refusing to wear a face mask has been granted GH¢10,000 bail with a surety.

She was offered a box of nose mask by the judge, Justice Emmanuel Essandoh and her lawyer Mr Yaw Dankwa.

She would appear again on August 31.  

At proceedings on Wednesday, her counsel, Mr Dankwa challenged the powers of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to prosecute persons who flout the President’s order on compulsory face mask wearing.

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Mr Dankwa argued that it is only the police that can prosecute such criminal offences.

Mr Dankwa made the argument as the counsel for Mrs Odeyele, a Nigerian and itinerant pastor who was arrested by the Presidential Taskforce Team on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on August 10, for refusing to wear a face mask.

The lawyer insisted that Mrs Linda Kumbuno, who is the AMA prosecutor, is not the rightful person to prosecute his client, since the Executive Instrument (EI) 64 Sections 1, 4(1) and (2) 2020 which established the taskforce does not empower the AMA to prosecute.

Prior to his preliminary legal objection, Mrs Kumbuno told the court that the woman of God was defiant and had rained insults on the taskforce made up of the military, police and AMA officials.

She said Mrs Odeyele had insisted that wearing a face mask was anti-Christ and that she (accused) cannot go against her belief.

The court heard that the accused only wore a handkerchief on the day of her arrest and said although someone had volunteered to buy Mrs Odeyele a face mask, the accused rejected it.

Justice Essandoh upon hearing arguments from both the lawyer for the accused and the prosecutor remanded the accused in police custody.

She would appear again today.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA 

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