A self-styled Evangelist who defrauded two persons in the sum of GH¢1, 840 under the pretext of digging up gold and “juju” hidden in their houses, broke down and wept uncontrollably at the Cape Coast Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
Immediately the case was called, Emmanuel Kwakye, 24, who was earlier well composed, sporting an orange suit, started sniffling and within few seconds wailed uncontrollably whilst kneeling in the dock and begging for mercy.
Still in tears, he pleaded guilty to the charges of conspiracy to defraud, two counts of defrauding by false pretenses and abatement of crime, and was sentenced to a fine of GH¢5,400
He even told the court that he planted the purported “juju” in one of the victims’ house.
His accomplice whose name was given as Kweku Joshua, is, however, on the run.
Kwaakye wept throughout the proceedings, and even louder amidst shouting in Akan “Menni obiaa oo” to wit “I don’t have anyone,” while being whisked away by the Police, bringing tears to the eyes of some people who were in the courtroom.
Passing the judgment, Mr. Baffoe said he convicted Kwaakye on his own plea, taking into consideration his remorseful confession, and the fact that he was a first-time offender.
He said such criminal activities were on the ascendancy, and advised the public to be wary of such self-styled evangelists parading the streets.
The judge indicated that the Judiciary was mandated to protect the citizenry from such criminal activities, adding that the sentence was to deter others from such fraudulent deals.
Earlier, Inspector Christina Sampong, who prosecuted, told the court that the complainants were, Mr. Eric Ashong, a taxi driver, resident at Asinadze near Cape Coast, and Ms. Felicia Arthur, resident at Bujumbura.
She said in October and November last year, Kwakye who hails from the Ashanti Region, was preaching at Abura in Cape Coast, where Mr. Ashong works, during which he appealed for accommodation, since according to him his hotel bills were unbearable.
Mr. Ashong, who was touched, introduced him to his mother who gave Kwaakye a room in her house at Asinadze to occupy for free.
Kwaakye claimed he had a vision that Mr. Ashong’s late father was killed by a ‘juju’ some of his family members planted, because of some gold the deceased had hidden there.
Kwaakye said if the ‘juju’ was not dug out, the rest of the family members would die, and Mr. Ashong and his mother gave him GH¢ 240 to buy anointing oil for rituals.
Inspector Sampong said the following day, at about 1900hrs, Kwakye led Mr. Ashong and his family to the back of their house, and with a shovel, dug out a small pot tied with red thread, red pieces of cloth and some cowries, containing small pins and small arrows, and handed it over to Mr. Ashong.
Later, Kwaakye took his accomplice to the house and introduced him to Mr. Ashong as the one who could dig out the gold, and collected GH¢ 600 from Mr. Ashong and his mother, under the pretext of buying oil from Kumasi to be used for rituals
The self-styled evangelist was also introduced to one Ms. Arthur who was said to be going through the financial crisis, and she took him to her house at Budumburam near Kasoa.
Kwaakye said her financial problems were due to some juju planted in her house, and collected GH¢ 1,000 under the pretext of buying oil from Kumasi, but bolted.
When a search was conducted in the room he occupied, pieces of red cloth, red and black sewing threads, small pins, a small mirror, Bible tied with black sewing thread with a Key inside, were found, suggesting he made the pot himself and planted it behind the house.
On February 18, Kwaakye ran out of luck as he was spotted at Yamoransa near Cape Coast and was arrested.
During Police interrogation, he said it was his accomplice who bolted with Mr. Ashong’s money.
She said Kwakye added that in Ms. Arthur’s case, he bought the oil but forgot and left it on a VIP bus.
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