Atogpeelige Akongyaane, the Head Pastor of the Jesus Spanner Miracle Church in the Bongo District, along with three other members of the church, have been convicted of seven days in prison by the Bolgatanga District Court.
This comes as a result of the fact that they were found guilty of two counts of physical abuse and abetment of crime, namely physical abuse of a child younger than two months in violation of the Criminal Offences Act of 1960 (Act 29) and the Domestic Violence Act of 2007 (Act 732), respectively.
In addition to the pastor, the others, Zacchaeus Ayamga, Robert Aberinga Akugre, and Daniel Ayeliga Ageekilingo, were each given a fine of GH 2,400.
Pastor and 3 others sentenced to 7 days imprisonment after encountering Holy Spirit
Two further defendants, Veronica Ayamga and Mary Akonyane, who is also the mother of the child, were each fined GH2,400 in addition to having their prison sentences commuted since they were nursing mothers. Mary Akonyane gave birth to the child.
According to the facts of the case as reported by the prosecution led by Inspector Baliki Amidu Issaka, the complainant in the case was the regional police command, and the accused persons were locals of Balungu and Zorko in the Bongo District. These facts were presented by the prosecution in their presentation of the facts of the case.
He mentioned that the regional police command had obtained a copy of a video that had gone viral on social media. In the video, the accused individuals could be seen congregating in a church, and Veronica was shown holding a newborn while recklessly tossing and hurling him around in a manner that may have caused him harm.
He claimed that in response to a decision from the regional police headquarters, the accused suspects had been discovered and detained for questioning in order to facilitate the investigation.
Consequently, on July 7, 2023, they were taken into custody, and during their interrogation, they admitted the crimes that they had committed in their caution statements. However, they maintained that they were powerless to fight the ‘holy spirit’ that possessed Veronica.
The prosecutor stated that Veronica and Atogpeelige were having the naming ceremony for the victim in the aforementioned church at approximately twelve o’clock in the afternoon on February 5, 2023.
During the singing, praises, and worship, Veronica was possessed and took possession of the victim from Akogyaane under the guise that the Holy Spirit had entered her and that she was protecting the baby from any evil attack that may seek to take hold of him.
Veronica claimed that she was doing this under the pretext that she was defending the baby from any evil attack that might attempt to take hold of him.
He made the observation that throughout the procedure, Veronica started abusing the infant by throwing him and swinging him up and down in a harmful manner while the other accused persons were busy cheering her on by clapping and singing. He noted that this behaviour occurred while the other accused were busy encouraging her.
Around a week ago, the footage of the incident became popular on social media, which led to their arrest and the subsequent charging of them with the crime.