Attorney-General takes over trial of pastor arrested for preaching in public without mask

An itinerary Pastor, Joyce Oyedele who was caught preaching without nose mask at the Central Business District in Accra shed tears when an Accra Circuit court admitted her to bail on Thursday.

Oyedele was admitted to bail in the sum of GH¢10,000 with one surety.

This development was after Madam Linda Kunbuno, a Prosecutor with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, informed the Court that the Head of Legal Department was told about the controversy over who had the mandate to prosecute persons who breached COVID-19 Safety Protocols.

She said consequently, the Attorney General’s Department was contacted, after which she was asked to withdraw the case and forward same to the AG’s office.

The Court then admitted Joyce to bail.

The Court presided over Mr Emmanuel Essandoh gave her some money to purchase some face mask and wear them.

Mr Yaw Dankwah, who acted as a friend of the Court also gave Joyce some money in open court saying, ” I sow a seed into your ministry. ”

Oyedele, who is being held for refusal to wear nose mask, shed tears as she received the monies.

She had pleaded not guilty.

Mr Dankwah on August 12, this year, raised objection over who was legally mandated to prosecute the accused.

He said that the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) had not been mandated to prosecute cases of breach of the COVID-19 protocols.

Mr Dankwah said that the Executive Instrument (EI) 64 Section 1 and 4 (1) (2), 2020 did not give the AMA mandate to prosecute.

He said 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 was not the same as the Police.

The Prosecution led by Madam Linda Kunbuno, from AMA said on August 10, this year, Oyedele was seen not wearing nose mask on two different occasions and was advised to wear one.

She said on August 11, this year, Oyedele was again seen preaching at the ECG Office in Accra Central and was using her a handkerchief as a nose mask.

Prosecution said even though someone offered to buy one for her, she declined to take it, saying she was safe in using her handkerchief.

She said Oyedele was later arrested by the COVID-19 Safety Task Force after she had declined to wear the mask purchased for her.

The COVID-19 Safety Task Force is made up of personnel from the Military, Police, AMA, and Zoomlion.

They are to enforce the directives on wearing of nose musk to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Source: GNA

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