Covid-19: Ghanaian pastor, 2 others arrested for holding church services despite ban

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A Ghanaian pastor and two accomplices have been arrested for flouting directive not to hold public gatherings in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The suspect, 67-year-old Apostle Kofi Nkansah Sarkodie and two other pastors claiming to be leaders of the Open Arms Ministries in Kumasi, have since been granted a self recognizance bail by police in the Ashanti Region on Wednesday.

Apostle Nkansah, who also claims his services can cure the deadly Coronavirus said no “dictator law” should keep people away from worshiping God.

Ghana confirmed its seventh Coronavirus case on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

The latest patient is a citizen who had returned into the country from France.

Despite this, Apostle Nkansah, who could face prosecution, had told his congregation attending Wednesday’s sermon at the church’s North Suntreso branch that the virus is nothing to be concerned about.

But the Ashanti Regional Police Command disagrees, adding that the suspects will be closely monitored.

Regional Spokesperson for the Command, ASP Godwin Ahianyo said the suspects’ action was in violation of Ghana’s Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).

He said the suspects are being questioned for “unlawful assembly in breach of peace, posing immediate risk to health, life and among others”.

He cautioned Kumasi residents to protect themselves and others from the Covid-19 pandemic and to adhere to government’s directive for all to suspend religious activities, gatherings or meeting for the next four weeks.

“The Police will carry out our constitutional mandate to ensure public order and safety and therefore owe it a duty to bring any persons who breaches the peace and the law to book”, ASP Ahianyo warned.

By Jonathan Ofori, Daily Mail GH

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