The State has amended the charge sheet for four persons arraigned for their involvement in the breach of COVID-19 protocols during the ‘Pneumatica Night’ all-night Service held by the youth wing of the Christ Embassy Church in Accra on April 30, 2021.
The accused persons: Alex Asomani, Wilson Delali Agyemang, Kumi Nutifafa, all members of the church, were charged with conspiracy to commit a crime, and three counts of failing to comply with the restrictions imposed on religious bodies.
Also, in the dock was Mr. Edmond Dapaah, the Facility Manager of the Fantasy Dome, International Trade Fair Centre, who has been charged for abetment of crime.
They pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The accused persons will rely on their previous bail granted them in the sum of GH¢80,000 each with two sureties.
The prosecution, led by Chief Inspector Simon Apiorsornu, told the court that on May 2, 2021, the police gathered intelligence that the youth wing of Christ Embassy Church, Ghana, had organised an all-night service dubbed ‘Pneumatica Night’ at the Fantasy Dome within the Trade Fair Center without obeying COVID-19 safety protocols.
He said video footage of the said church service was also sighted on various social media platforms and in the video, it was observed that the congregants were not wearing face or nose masks.
“Upon the intelligence gathered, the police proceeded to the Trade Fair Centre, where they met the Head of Security of the Centre in the person of Justice Tuuru Konlan,” he said.
The prosecution said the Head of Security confirmed to the police that the Christ Embassy Church organised the said programme on April 30, 2021, at about 2000 hours at the Fantasy Dome within the Trade Fair Centre and closed on May 1, 2021, in the morning.
He said Mr. Konlan added that the Management of the Fantasy Dome did not officially inform the Management of Trade Fair Centre about the said programme.
Chief Inspector Apiorsornu said the police conducted an inspection within the Fantasy Dome as well as the Round Pavilion and upon the measurement of the intervals between the arranged chairs, it was observed that the one-meter rule of social distancing between congregants was not observed.
Also, there was no fresh air ventilation, and that the Church relied on air conditioners.
He said further enquiries revealed that the programme exceeded the maximum two-hour duration.
The prosecution said on May 6, 2021, Master Asomani, a National Service Personnel (A1), Mr Agyeman, an Entrepreneur (A2), Mr Kumi, a Businessman (A3), who were the organizers of the all-night Church service were arrested by the police.
He said Mr. Dapaah, (A4) was also arrested by the police for questioning, and in their investigation cautioned statements, they could not give any “tangible” reasons for flouting the COVID-19 protocols.
After investigations, the accused persons were charged with the offences as stated on the charge sheet and arranged for court.
The Court has ordered the prosecution to make disclosures on documents they intended to rely on during the trial.
Meanwhile, the court will on July 1, 2021, hear a motion filed by Management of the Fantasy Dome, concerning the closure of the facility.
The Attorney General has been given seven days to respond to the motion.