Lady preacher who refused to wear nose mask granted bail
A female pastor, Joyce Oyedele, who refused to wear a nose mask at the Accra Central Business District in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic has been granted bail by the Accra Circuit Court.
The clergywoman, who preaches Christian redemption messages at the market, was granted GHC10, 000 bail with one surety, by the court presided over by Emmanuel Essandoh.
The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) hauled her to court for her blatant refusal to wear a nose mask or adhere to any of the safety protocols in August.
The lady pastor was spotted twice by the AMA task force. The first she was without a nose mask and the second time, she had a handkerchief around her neck.
When asked why she was not wearing a mask, Pastor Oyedele, had argued that it was only God who could save ‘mankind’ from the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
On Thursday, the headstrong pastor again arrived in court with a white handkerchief to serve as a nose mask. She pleaded not guilty for not wearing a mask.
This time around when the judge asked why she didn’t have a mask on, rather a handkerchief, she said ‘she did not have money to be buying a new mask all the time’.
After Thursday’s proceeding, her lawyers offered to buy her a box of disposable nose mask, while the judge also offered her some money to buy the nose mask.
This is the second time, the pastor was making an appearance before the Accra Circuit Court.
The first time, Lawyers of Pastor Oyedele, led by Yaw Dankwa, had raised an objection that the AMA legal team were not mandated to prosecute cases regarding the breach of the COVID-19 protocols.
He said that the Executive Instrument (EI) 64 Section 1 and 4 (1) (2), 2020 did not give the AMA mandate to prosecute.
Mr Dankwa maintained that the prosecution should be done by the police, adding that the EI gave the police the power to conduct instant search and that the AMA is not the same as the Police.
The AMA prosecutor, Madam Linda Kunbuno then told judge Essandoh that she had informed the AMA Head of Legal Department of the earlier development in court.
She told the court that the Head of Legal of AMA has consulted the AG’s department who has subsequently requested for the pastor’s docket.
The docket of the headstrong pastor is now before the office of the Attorney General.
The case has been adjourned to September 2, 2020.
While presenting the facts, the AMA prosecution led by Madam Kunbuno, said on August 10, this year, Joyce was seen not wearing nose mask on two different occasions and was advised to wear one.
She said on August 11, this year, Joyce was again seen preaching at the ECG office in Accra Central and was using her handkerchief as a nose mask.
The prosecution said even though someone offered to buy one for her, she declined to take it, saying she was safe in using her handkerchief.
Madam Kunbuno said Joyce was later arrested by the COVID-19 Safety Task Force after she declined to wear the mask purchased for her.