Court frees Bishop Obinim after 11 months of forgery charges
After almost eleven months of routine court visits, International God’s Way Church founder, Bishop Daniel Obinim, has been discharged by the Kaneshie District Court.
This was after the prosecutor, Detective Sergeant Richard Amoah, informed the court that the state would no longer pursue the forgery case against Bishop Obinim.
The prosecutor did not tell the court the reasons for the withdrawal of the case.
Obinim could only stifle a soft smile that the hurdles of the court will soon be a thing of the past.
Bishop Obinim and Kwabena Okyere were separately put before a Kaneshie Magistrate Court in Accra.
They were both charged for the publication of false news and forgery of a document, contrary to sections 208 and 159 of the Criminal and other Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), respectively.
Together with four others at large, the two were facing four counts of conspiracy to publish false news, conspiracy to forge other documents, publication of false news, and forgery of documents.
The court has since struck out the charges.
Obinim’s journey with the Kaneshie District Court
On May 19, last year, the controversial pastor Bishop Obinim was arraigned before the Kaneshie District Court.
On May 20, 2020, he was granted GHC100,000 bail with three sureties, one to be justified.
On June 1, 2020, the police asked for more time to investigate why the self-styled pastor was in court.
They claimed a lot more was needed to make their case watertight against the controversial pastor.
After two weeks, police prosecution on July 20, 2020, again came with the same colourful tale of ‘still investigating’.
“We can clearly see as practitioners of the law what the prosecution is trying to do and where this matter is going. We are obliged to play along.
“But if on the next adjourned date, our colleagues from the other side fail to provide evidence that they are bringing to the case, then it won’t be fair to all parties.
“This is the third or fourth time we are coming to the court on this matter, but nothing to show for it,” Mr Blagogee said on July 20.
From all indications, the prosecution wanted to stress his client, he argued.
Court Magistrate Rosemond Dodua Agyiri, however, agreed to the prosecution’s request and adjourned Obinim’s trial.
Since the case started in May last year, the court has been forced to go on an adjournment spree per the prosecution’s request.
Fast forward to September 9, 2020, and the police came with fresh fire.
The televangelist, his accomplice Kwabena Otchere and four others faced four counts.
The group of six were to answer to charges of conspiracy to publish false news, conspiracy to forge documents, the publication of false news and forgery of documents.
The new charges were read in court, to which the first two accused persons pleaded not guilty.
The prosecution told the court that efforts were being made to find the other four accused persons, who are now at large.
On November 16, 2020, the pastor known for his healing prowess with his widely used ‘Obinim Sticker’ had taken ill. He was advised to seek medical care.
Louis Yiadom Boakye, who stepped in for Dela Blagogee, informed the Kaneshie District Court of the latest development.
“We profusely apologise for the absence of Bishop Obinim. He was due to travel to Kumasi this dawn, but his health took a turn for the worse, so he had to seek medical care,” the lawyer said.
In February 2021, the trial judge threatened to discharge Bishop Obinim and one other if the police fail to commence the case at the next court date.
Detective Sergeant Richard Amoah told the court they could not proceed due to some challenges that befell their investigations.
The infuriated magistrate asked the investigator about fairness in putting the accused persons before the court when they had not completed investigations.
The court magistrate, who was not enthused, warned that she would discharge the accused persons if the prosecution comes with the same tale.
Obinim’s hurdles with other courts
Obinim has been dragged to court at least three times for various offences in the past.
In 2018, Obinim, together with two of his pastors, stood trial at the Accra Circuit Court for allegedly assaulting his adopted children in the presence of his congregation.
In September that same year, he was subsequently fined a total of GH¢12,000 for the assault of his children.
In August 2016, Obinim was arrested by the Tema Regional Police for allegedly defrauding a man of GH¢11.6 million.
Before his court appearance, Bishop Obinim, in May 2020, spent three days in police custody before he was granted a GH₵100,000 bail with three sureties.
But today (Wednesday, April 21, 2021), one more hurdle is out of the way, clearing the path for Obinim.
Counsel for Obinim, Louis Yiadom Boakye, who held brief for Charles Dela Blagogee engaged the media after proceedings on Wednesday, April 21.
He said defense team had from the beginning maintained that Bishop Obinim was innocent and if prosecution saw it fit to withdraw the case, they were not opposed to it.
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