Rev Owusu Bempah, 4 others denied bail over threats to kill Nana Agradaa
The Founder and Leader of the Glorious Word Power Ministries International, Reverend Isaac Owusu Bempah, together with five others, have been remanded into police custody by an Accra Circuit Court.
The ‘prophetic’ church leader who made his first appearance in court on Monday, September 13, has been charged with threat of death — threatening to kill Patricia Oduro Koranteng, popularly known as Nana Agradaa, as well as offensive conduct to the breach of peace.
In all, Rev Owusu Bempah and the others Mensah Ofori, Michael Boateng, Frederick Ohene and Nathaniel Agyekum are facing six counts, charges they have pleaded not guilty to.
One person is still at large.
While Owusu Bempah and Mensah Ofori were charged with two counts of offensive conduct and threat of death, the remaining three were charged with assault on a public officer.
Their lawyers, led by Gary Nimako Marfo, prayed for the accused persons to be granted bail, but the prosecution led by Chief Inspector Dennis Terkpetey opposed the bail application.
It was the case of the prosecution that two of the police officers assaulted by the accused persons are still on admission at the hospital.
The court presided over by Afia Owusua Appiah dismissed the application for bail to allow prosecution enough time to investigate.
The accused persons were subsequently remanded into police custody to reappear on September 20.
Earlier clash with the media
Reverend Owusu Bempah is said to have arrived at the court premises a little after 11 am.
The accused persons were accompanied by some loyal church members who reportedly clashed with journalists gathered at the court entrance.
The irate church faithful did not want journalists taking pictures of them, so formed a barricade, hurling unprintable words at the journalists who had gathered to report on happenings in court.
Police officers at the premises subsequently denied most of the journalists access into the courtroom.
Why the church leader and his entourage are in court?
A police team stormed the church on Sunday, September 12, to arrest the suspects in connection to multiple videos containing threats and brandishing of weapons.
The church members are said to have allegedly assaulted some of the police personnel under the direction of Rev Owusu Bempah.
In a statement, the Director-General of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, ACP Kwesi Ofori, said the injured cops had received medical attention and responded to treatment.
The police assured that “impartial investigations shall continue in this matter and the public will be duly updated”.
Several videos have been circulating on social media in which junior church pastors brandished weapons amidst threats to attack Nana Agradaa, a fetish priestess who claims to be born again.
In one of the videos, two persons were seen issuing threats against Nana Agradaa and dared her to reveal her location for a clash.
The other waved a foreign-made pistol as he indicated that they were ready to face Nana Agradaa’s men.
In another video, the man who flashed the pistol claimed he had a licence for the weapon and could use it at will.
He vowed to “finish” anyone who would cross his path.
In the Twi language, he claimed laws do not work in Ghana, for which reason one could commit murder and escape punishment.
“In Ghana, you can kill someone and walk freely. It was my property I brandished, and no one can do anything about it.”
Prior to that, Rev Owusu Bempah and some men had besieged the Kokrobite residence of Nana Agradaa. They threatened to beat her up for raining insults on the head pastor of the Glorious Word Power Ministries International.
Nana Agradaa stayed indoors for hours, and Rev Owusu Bempah was heard saying that Nana Agradaa had failed to show up.
After some minutes, Nana Agradaa appeared on top of her storey building and recorded a live video on social media about Rev Owusu Bempah’s presence and armed thugs at the premises of her residence.
A team of law enforcement officers were dispatched to the scene to ensure calm.
Rev Owusu Bempah was later heard in a video saying the “battle had started” and threatened to deal with Nana Agradaa.
He explained that his junior pastors had responded to Nana Agradaa’s insults several times, but he was “ready” to face her personally.