General News of Friday, 4 January 2019
The Ghana Police Service has announced that it has granted bail to a prime suspect allegedly involved in the destruction of properties belonging to the Church of Reverend Owusu Bempah.
The bail follows his arrest by the Accra Regional Police at Odorkor on Wednesday, January 2, 2018, contrary to earlier reports that he turned himself in for questioning by the police.
In an interview with the Director-General of the Public Affairs Department of the Ghana Police Service, Assistant Commissioner of Police David Eklu, he disclosed that the case has been moved from the Regional Police to the Criminal Investigations Department at the National Headquarters because of the national interest the matter has generated.
The gentleman (name withheld), according to ACP Eklu is adhering to the terms of the bail and cooperating well with the investigations so far.
ACP Eklu suggested that the suspect has been charged with causing damage to properties of the Glorious Word and Power Ministries at Odorkor.
“We are all aware of the attack on the Church founded by Reverend Owusu Bempah three days ago and the furore and anxiety that it has brought to the public especially concerning some pronouncement that a section of the public found unpalatable and are worried about. Following that, the police arrested one person in respect of causing damage to property of the church and because of the national interest generated out of that act the CID headquarters has taken over investigations. The suspect was arrested and brought to the CID Headquarters. He has been granted bail and has returned today to assist with investigations” he detailed.
The destruction occurred after some irate youth attacked the Church premises to defend National Chief Imam Sheikh Nuhu Sharabutu.
Reverend Owusu Bempah in his 31st Watchnight service sermon prophesied that the National Chief Imam will die this year is prayers are not said to intercede for him.
This triggered the reaction by the irate youth who have cautioned him to withdraw and apologise or face their wrath.
The incident has been condemned by Sheikh Nuhu Sharabutu as he called for calm and peace among the youth.
Be circumspect with your broadcast
The Director-General of the Public Affairs Department of the Ghana Police also cautioned the media to be circumspect in their reportage and be mindful of the consequences of publicising such news.
He urged them not to place ‘news story’ above the peace and security of the country as the consequences of losing such an atmosphere may be deadly for all.
ACP David Eklu was optimistic that if the media pay no attention to such so-called prophesies, it will not gain so much prominence in public discourse and lead to fear and panic among the citizenry.
“If such a pronouncement is made and it is not repeated and repeated over again, it will die off. Unfortunately, certain media houses have continuously played and played these pronouncement thus heightening public anxiety and causing fear and panic among the public. So the police is cautioning as an early warning sign, that media houses should also be circumspect in the way they report some of these prophesies.”