Pastor Jailed 19 Years

Pastor Joshua Osei AkwasiA 23-YEAR-OLD pastor who unleashed his libido on a poor 24-year-old ailing lady, has found himself in the grips of the law.

Pastor Joshua Osei Akwasi, founder and leader of New Vision Church at Buokrom, a suburb of Kumasi, was on Tuesday slapped with a 19-year jail-term in hard labour by a Kumasi Circuit Court.

The fair-coloured man of God, who was arrested on Monday for raping one Agartha Konadu, his church member, was quickly processed for court on Tuesday on a charge of rape.

Presenting the facts of the case to the court presided over by Richard Mac Kogyapwah, Chief Superintendent Moses Asabagna Atibillah said the victim was a church member of the convict.

He told the court that on Sunday January 16, 2010, around 6:00 pm, the victim who was under the weather, left her residence at Ahwiaa-Adabraka, also a suburb of Kumasi, to buy drugs from a drug store when she met the convict at Atimatim.

Chief Superintendent Atibillah narrated that the victim, upon seeing Pastor Joshua, politely greeted him and introduced herself as a member of his congregation.

He noted that soon after, the convict asked the victim where she was going and she respectfully replied that she was sick and going to buy drugs from a drug store.

Having told the pastor what her mission was, Chief Superintendent Atibillah said the convict assured the victim that he was capable of providing drugs that would instantly cure her.

He recounted that the convict therefore asked the victim to furnish him with directions to her house so that he could bring the drugs to her- a request she graciously obliged.

After striking the deal with the victim, Chief Superintendent Atibillah said Pastor Joshua then rushed to his house at Buokrom and prepared a concoction made up of aaxibra oil, lemon, orange and many other substances.

He noted that afterwards, the convict went straight to the Agatha’s house at about 8:30 pm on the same day, entered her room and ordered her to drink the concoction with a promise that she would be cured soon after.

According to Chief Superintendent Atibillah, immediately the victim drank the concoction, she became dizzy and within a few minutes, went into deep sleep.

He told the packed court that realizing that the Agartha had gone far beyond the world; the convict locked the room, took advantage of the situation and had several bouts of sexual intercourse with her.

Due to the level of her intoxication, Chief Superintendent Atibillah said the victim could not get up to open the door for her boyfriend who had come over to enquire how she was faring.

He noted that Agartha’s boyfriend had to come back, knocking on three occasions only for the victim, who, at the time had gained consciousness, to respond mildly the third time.

Sensing danger, Chief Superintendent Atibillah, said the boyfriend forced the door open and to his dismay, found Pastor Joshua busily exhibiting his sexual prowess on the victim.

He indicated that the boyfriend immediately took the victim to the Tafo Government Hospital for medical attention.

Chief Superintendent Atibillah said thereafter, Agartha’s boyfriend lodged a complaint at the police station and the convict was quickly arrested on Monday and processed for court on Tuesday due to the severity of the offence.

After the presentation of facts, Judge Kogyapwah asked Pastor Joshua, who was dressed in an all-white outfit, whether he was guilty or not; and to the surprise of the court, he responded that he was guilty.

Against the background of the admission of guilt by the convict, Justice Kogyapwah, without delay, sentenced him to 19 years’ imprisonment in hard labour.

Pronouncing judgment, Mr Kogyapwah said the convict had brought untold shame to the work of God and smeared the dignity of genuine men and women who are championing God’s work.

He explained that he was dishing out that stiff punishment to the convict to serve as a deterrent to crooks who had made it their business to hide behind the work of God to perpetrate criminal activities on unsuspecting members of the public.

After the judgment, Chief Superintendent Atibillah heaped tonnes of praise on the presiding judge for the expeditious manner in which he handled the case, stressing that such conduct boosts the morale of prosecutors.

From Morgan Owusu, Kumasi