The 36-year-old man who was arrested last Sunday at President John Mahama’s church, Ringway Gospel Centre Assemblies of God, wielding a pistol, has been handed over to the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) for investigations.
The man, identified as Charles Antwi, unemployed, was found during the main service with the locally manufactured pistol fully loaded around 8:30 am on Sunday.
An eyewitness account indicated that Antwi was sighted by a church member with the pistol hidden on him. The church is headed by Reverend Adjei, resident pastor.
Communications Minister, Dr Edward Omane-Boamah, had said in a short statement on Sunday that: ‘The man was arrested after his fidgety and suspicious behaviour was noticed during the morning service. He was escorted out by security personnel and following a search, the weapon was found.’
However, President Mahama and his family were not at the Ringway Gospel Centre branch of the Assemblies of God Church when the incident occurred.
It is not clear the motive behind Antwi’s storming of the church with the pistol, but some church members believed he went there to possibly attack the president.
President Mahama has not been seen publicly lately.
He was conspicuously absent at the memorial public lecture for his former boss, the late President John Evans Atta Mills, at GIMPA as well as the wreath laying ceremony at the Asomdwoe Park, near the Castle, Osu. No reasons were assigned for his absence.
DAILY GUIDE learnt that when Antwi was asked about the pistol, he claimed that he was holding it because he owed somebody some amount of money.
His countenance, sources say, showed some traits of abnormality and the National Security has taken over the investigations.
Police report indicated that officials of the church handed him over to the Cantonments police, whose jurisdiction the church falls.
The report indicated that a lady member who sat close to Antwi in the church saw the gun while the suspect was reaching out for it in his pocket.
Some church members also confirmed to DAILY GUIDE that the suspect was not a member of the church which is also attended by the Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood and other government officials.
They told the paper that last Sunday was the third week Antwi had visited their church.
‘For these three weeks too, the president and his family have not been in church at all,’ a source said.
The source narrated, ‘It was after Antwi had been arrested that the driver of the president, who also attends the church, arrived at the scene.’
The officer in-charge of Police Public Affairs, DCOP Reverend David Ampah Benin, who is said to be an associate pastor of the church, declined to speak to the media when the suspect was arrested.
A certain Charles Kpoi, a BNI official, is in-charge of the case, according to sources.
Meanwhile, the president is on a 7-day vacation.
A statement from the presidency stated, ‘The President will resume work on August 03, 2015.’
The statement added that President Mahama, during the leave period, would honour some pre-scheduled bilateral engagements.
‘The last time the president took a break from work was in December 2013,’ the statement added.
It is unclear yet whether he will spend his leave outside the country or not.
In 2013 when he went on a similar break, he went to Dubai, thereby earning him the nickname, Kofi Dubai.
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By Linda Tenyah Ayettey
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