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Pastor who refused to wear nose mask granted GHC10k bail

The Attorney General’s (AG) Department has requested for the docket on a female pastor, Joyce Oyedele, who was detained Wednesday by the Circuit in Accra after she was arraigned for refusing to wear a nose mask in public.

Her appearance in court on stirred controversy when her lawyer Yaw Danquah challenged the locus of an AMA prosecutor handling the case.

The court presided over by Justice Emmanuel Essandoh, a High Court judge sitting with additional responsibility as a Circuit Court judge adjourned the case to today after requesting for the Executive Instrument (EI) relating to the matter.

In court on Thursday, the AMA prosecutor Madam Linda Kunbuno said she had informed the AMA Head of Legal Department of the development in court yesterday.

She told the court that the Head of Legal of AMA then consulted the AG’s department who requested for the docket.

She was however admitted to bail in the sum of GHc10,000 with one surety in the person of one John Teye who is an Evangelist at Aburi.

Her lawyers offered her a box of disposable nose mask while the judge also offered her some money to buy the nose mask.

Pastor Oyedele told the court that said she is from Nigeria and had a relative in Ghana.

The case has been adjourned to September 2, 2020

Drama

There was drama in court on Wednesday when a prosecutor from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) arraigned a female pastor for failing to wear nose mask in public.

The female itinerant pastor was said to have refused the directive of the Covid-19 taskforce when she was spotted in public.

Madam Joyce Oyedele, a Nigerian national who was charged with the offense of failing to wear nose mask in public but pleaded not guilty.

The Prosecutor Linda Kunbuno said on August 10, she was spotted again not wearing the nose mask instead she was using her handkerchief.

Madam Kunbuno said she was further advised to use the mask but she still refused even after someone had volunteered to buy her a nose mask.

A taskforce comprising military personal, police officers, Accra Metropolitan Assembly and Zoomlion officers was enforcing the President’s directive on wearing of nose masks as a means of curtailing the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, when the case was called before Justice Emmanuel Essandoh, a High Court judge sitting with additional responsibility as a Circuit Court judge, her lawyer said, the AMA did not have the power to prosecute but the police.

Lawyer Yaw Danquah told the court that Executive Instruments (EI) 64 Sections 1 and 4(1) (2), 2020 do not permit the AMA to prosecute.

He argued that, the EI does not empower AMA to prosecute and that it is rather for the police to do so.

Lawyer Danquah told the court that, when the pastor was arrested, the proper thing for the taskforce to have done was to hand her over to the police.

“When it comes to enforcement, the EI gives the police the power to conduct the random search, and AMA are not the police. It (EI) never mentions that the power is conferred on the traffic unit.

The court after hearing counsel requested for the EI and remanded the accused person to police custody to reappear in court. She was thus arrested and arraigned.

 

Source: Ghana/Dailyheritage.com.gh/Murtala Inusah

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