Flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, is appealing to President Akufo-Addo to grant clemency to a pastor and his two followers jailed four years for flouting the ban on public gatherings due to COVID-19.
However, the police say the offending pastor and his associates have long been freed, killing the NDC flagbearer mischievous agenda.
A statement signed by Mahama Campaign office, quoted the former president saying that the four-year prison sentence handed down to the pastor, Apostle Sampson Agakpe and two others was “draconian and an act of selective justice.”
“We must all abide by the law, that is true, but we should not engage in selective justice, where you apply the law heavily on church workers who flout the law. Yet, during primaries, people were seen flouting the law with impunity and nothing happened to them,” it said.
The statement said the NDC flagbearer in an interaction with Christian leaders in the Northern Regional capital Tamale, observed that the imposition of the COVID-19 restrictions was necessary to help fight the surge in infections and keep the country safe, “but some decisions and outcomes arising out of the imposition of the restrictions had not been pleasant”.
“We are all equal before the law. It should not be possible for political parties to flout a law and get away with it, yet when a church flouts the law, the punishment is heavy and draconian.”
The statement said Apostle Sampson Agakpe, Founder of the Church of Pure Christ in the Volta Region, was arrested, charged and jailed for four years together with his Assistant Pastor, Maxwell Dzogoedzikpe and the Church Secretary, Samuel Agakpe.
Police Dismiss Allegation
However the police administration is discrediting the former president’s statement saying that Mr Mahama goofed badly.
The police said the pastor and his two followers are not serving a four-year prison sentence in any facility in the Volta Region as the NDC flagbearer alleges.
Director of Public Affairs at the Police Service, Supt. Sheila Kesse Abayie-Buckman, is confirming that indeed the pastor and his two followers are walking about freely.
In a statement, she noted that the three people were convicted to pay a fine but they could not afford, adding that the Pentecost Church later settled the fine, so the pastor and his two followers were released instantly.
“The pastors are not in jail. They were convicted by the court but they weren’t convicted to go and spend time in jail. They were asked to pay a fine but because they couldn’t pay, they were kept until sometime in July the Church of Pentecost volunteered to pay it.”
The police chieftain indicated that checks with the prisons service in Volta Region has also revealed that indeed the pastor and his two followers were truly released immediately the fine was cleared by the Pentecost Church.
“After the Church of Pentecost offered to pay their fine, we checked with the prisons service in Volta region and found out that they have been released,” Supt. Abayie-Buckman stated.
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