The Ashaiman Circuit Court presided over by Mrs Agnes Opoku-Barnieh has granted bail to Bishop Eric Borngreat Aboagye and 21 others who were charged for flouting the ban on social gathering in the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19.
Bishop Eric Borngreat Aboagye who had an arrest warrant imposed on him by the Ashaiman District Court last week, reported himself to the Ashaiman Divisional Police on Monday, May 4, 2020 and was rearrested by the police and arraigned.
He pleaded not guilty and was granted bail in the sum of GH c 20,000 with 2 sureties. All the other suspects except the two juveniles were also granted bail in the sum of GH c 20,000 each with two sureties.
The juveniles were admitted to bail in the sum of GH c 10,000 with two sureties. If convicted they will be sent to the juvenile court for sentencing.
The case has been adjourned to May 19, 2020.
Police Prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Akwasi Ahenkorah Afrifa, informed the court that on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 Bishop Eric Borngreat Aboagye and his congregants numbering over 50 held a church service at the Heavens Life Global Church at Lebanon School Junction at Ashaiman.
He said a joint police and taskforce team from the Ashaiman Municipal Assembly, who pick information the prayer service which was contrary to the Imposition of Restrictions Act, (Act 1012) has been in force since March 15, as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
He said Bishop Aboagye escaped and fled from the church premises on sighting a joint police and taskforce team from the Ashaiman Municipal Assembly (AshMA) who were moving in to enforce the law.
However, members of the taskforce, however, managed to arrest some of the congregants who were handed over to the police who arraigned them before the Ashaiman District Court last Thursday, April, 30, 2020.
The Ashaiman District Court issued an a warrant for the arrest of Bishop Aboagye, however on Monday, May 4, 2020, the religious leader reported himself to the Ashaiman Divisional Police and was rearrested by the police, charged and arraigned before the Circuit Court which has jurisdiction to handle the matter.
Counsel for Bishop Aboagye, and 18 other accused persons, Mr George Ahadzia requested for the disclosure of statements made by the accused persons to the police when they were arrested, which was upheld by the court.