Obinim Freed!

The criminal division of an Accra high court yesterday acquitted and discharged Bishop Daniel Obinim, founder of Godsway International Ministry.

The court, presided over by Justice Abdulai Iddrisu, said the prosecution, led by Mrs Joyce Debrah, had failed to prove its case beyond all reasonable doubts after four years of criminal proceedings against the controversial man of God.

Scores of people believed to be followers of Bishop Obinim at the new court complex carried him shoulder high amidst singing and dancing to celebrate his victory, immediately he stepped out of the court room.

Weak Prosecution
In the view of the court, the prosecution failed to call the material witnesses it could have used to secure a conviction of Bishop Obinim, while the few it managed to call were inconsistent in their testimonies in respect of the evidence before the court.

Justice Iddrisu noted that the prosecution’s case was full of contradictions and could not rely on the evidence of the prosecution witnesses.

The court contended that it was impossible to convict Bishop Obinim on the basis of uncorroborated evidence.

Tainted Testimonies
According to the trial judge, the evidence of the witnesses lined up by the prosecution to advance its case was not truthful.

In the case of the first prosecution witness – one Shadrach – the judge was emphatic that he lied to the court and could not be a trustworthy witness.

The high court judge said the said witness deceived the court and failed to pass the test of a credible witness, adding that the court ought to tread cautiously in the face of such ‘tainted testimonies.’

Justice Iddrisu disclosed that the second prosecution witness, Kwame Ntim Okatakyie, who was the complainant, was also not truthful to the court.

He said per the doctor’s report tended as evidence in the trial, it was not true that he (Ntim) was injured in the shoulder and as such had difficulty using his hand.

Justice Iddrisu stated that relying on the oral evidence of Ntim to grant a conviction could amount to ‘attempting mischief.’

Lopsided Investigation
Regarding the last witness, D/Cpl Bismarck Adu-Gyamfi, the investigator in the case, the court held no positive view in respect of his contribution to the trial.

In the view of the judge, the investigator failed to thoroughly investigate the case.

He said Cpl Adu-Gyamfi was only concerned about the complaint of the complainant, adding that ‘as to whether he investigated the accused person’s side of the story is difficult to find out.’

Justice Iddrisu said the evidence of the accused person that he did not go the studio of the Accra-based radio station, Hot FM, with a crowbar was not challenged by the prosecution.

He said the said crowbar which the accused was alleged to have used to destroy the properties of the radio station surfaced at the Adabraka Police Station and yet the prosecution failed to unravel the mystery surrounding it.

The judge said there was no evidence from the prosecution to support the fact that Bishop Obinim sent the crowbar to the radio station.

As a result, the judge acquitted and discharged the Godsway International Ministry founder.

Background
Bishop Obinim was standing trial for allegedly harming Ntim Okatakyie, a radio presenter at the studio of Hot FM when he (Obinim) and his two associate pastors stormed there in 2011.

In the course of the trial, the court discharged the two associate Pastors – Kinsley Baah and Kofi Kwetey – who were standing trial with Bishop Obinim for allegedly vandalising the property of the station worth GH¢130,850.

The two were let off the hook while their boss was asked to open his defence on causing harm to Ntim Okatakyie on the programme, ‘Nya Asem Hwe.

The bishop, prior to his acquittal and discharge yesterday, had been discharged on seven counts of causing unlawful damage, unlawful entry and conspiracy to commit assault.

By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson
[email protected]


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