are currently cooling off in a police cell.
The two men swindled the women of several thousands of cedis, CFA francs and personal belongings.
The accused persons, Eric Mensah alias Kumah, a 47-year-old driver who resided at Ho, and Silvanus Dei, a 45-year-old kente weaver, were arrested at their hideout by the police and brought before the Ashaiman Circuit Court presided over by Seyeram Yao Azumah.
The two accused persons arrived at the court in handcuffs together with other persons standing trials at the same court. They sat a few metres away from persons believed to be their relatives, as they waited for their case to be called.
When the accused persons were called to the dock, Eric Mensah pleaded guilty, but with an explanation, while Silvanus Dei pleaded not guilty to all the six counts leveled against them.
Mensah then confidently explained to the court that he had come to accept what he did as indeed wrong, pleading for leniency since his familyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s livelihood depended on him. He added that his familyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s well-being was the main reason why he confessed to committing the crime.
He was also quick to say that he did not spend his share of the booty because he felt it would have been wrong to do so.
Reacting, counsel for Silvanus Dei, the second accused person, indicated that his client was only MensahÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s employee, who had also been led to believe that he (Mensah) was a prophet. He added that his client, thinking that Mensah was a Ã¢â‚¬ËœMan of GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, did as he was instructed.
The prosecutor, Chief Inspector P.Y. Aheto, recounting the incidents that led to the arrest of the two, told the court that on January 6, 2010, the two accused persons were said to have gone to the Cocoa Marketing Board (CMB) area in Accra, where they posed as prophets. They successfully duped one Dorothy Teneshe, a business woman and resident of Keta in the Volta Region, who had come to Accra to buy goods.
The two were said to have approached the woman and made certain prophesies about her life. They told her to close her eyes for special prayers. The victim, who had cash and a mobile phone in her hand bag, obeyed, but by the time she opened her eyes the suspects had vanished with her handbag which contained GHÃ‚Â¢900, CFA 80,000 and personal effects.
According to the prosecutor, two weeks after that incident, the accused persons moved to Tema where they again duped a certain Beatrice Akpolu, a caterer at the Tema General Hospital on January 27, 2010, capitalizing on her health status.
They claimed God had revealed something about her health to them.
The two allegedly told the caterer she had health problems because some of her colleagues had invoked curses on her. They asked that she gave an apple and GHÃ‚Â¢1.00 to a beggar so the curse would be reversed.
Chief Inspector Aheto indicated that after the prayers the ladyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s handbag containing GHÃ‚Â¢500.00, one Segem mobile phone, voters ID card, Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) cheque book and other belongings, which she had left with Silvanus, vanished along with the Ã¢â‚¬Ëœmen of GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢.
Continuing with his narration, he stated that the two suspects defrauded one Ayievu Isabella, a business woman, the following day. From her they were able to pinch GHÃ‚Â¢3000, CFA 320,000, two mobile phones, one portable fertilizer bag containing personal effects, several coins of both Ghana cedis and CFA franc at Tudu in Accra.
The prosecutor told the court that the two then relocated to Ashaiman, where they checked into a hotel. Luck however eluded them when a co-worker of one of their victims, Beatrice Akpolu, who was present when they ripped her off, raised an alarm upon seeing the pair. Two policemen, W.A Danso and Detective Gawo of the Ashaiman Divisional Headquarters, rushed to the scene and arrested them.
A search conducted in their hotel rooms revealed personal effects of their victims, together with the cash and some other items hidden in a dustbin. They were immediately whisked to the police station.
The two Ã¢â‚¬ËœprophetsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ confessed to the crime in their caution statements to the police, and after investigations, they were charged and put before the Ashaiman Circuit Court.
Eric Mensah, after admitting to the offence, was sentenced to five years each on six counts and all were to be served concurrently at the Nsawam Prisons. On the other hand, Silvanus Dei is still in police custody and will reappear on a later date.
Shortly after the verdict of the court, Mensah, who could not tell the court his exact age, begged to be pardoned as he has now regretted his actions and would never do such a thing again for as long as he lives.
From Vincent Kubi, Ashiaman