After four years of standing trial for allegedly assaulting a journalist, Bishop Daniel Obinim, head of the International Godsway Ministries was yesterday acquitted and discharged by the Accra Human Rights Court, because the prosecution failed to conduct proper investigations.
The presiding judge, Mr. Justice Iddrisu Abdulai, lamented the conduct of the prosecution, saying that it did a one-sided investigation.
“The court cannot convict the accused based on uncorroborated evidence. The law is that the burden of proof lay on the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused. In this case, the State-Attorney had failed to call witnesses who are relevant and material. The accused is, therefore, acquitted and discharged.
Bishop Obinim, walked a free man as he was relieved of all charges except assault.
The court heard during cross-examination of Kwame Okatakyie, the first complainant, that Bishop Obinim footed his medical bills and other personal expenses.
It was a moment of ecstasy yesterday, as Obinim’s family and church members could not control themselves, amidst praises and chants after the ruling.
Bishop Obinim was spotted in a deep blue suit over a white long sleeves shirt, sea-blue tie and blue shoes to match.
Not only did the judge scold the State Attorney, who was the prosecutor, for doing a shoddy investigation, but questioned the credibility of the testimony of the two complainants.
Justice Abdulai said that the complainants lied to the court as they gave incoherent and contradictory evidence.
He noted that in one breath, one of the complainants, Shadrack Adu, said he sustained severe injury to the left arm but the medical report from the Accra Ridge Hospital proved otherwise.
Justice Abdulai noted that where there were contradictory evidence, documentary evidence should supersede oral evidence.
The court said principal witness, Okatakyie, claimed other persons were prevented from entering the radio studio when the alleged assault on them occurred, but the court held that none of those witnesses were called to give evidence. Based on this, the accused made a submission of no case which was upheld by the court.
The prosecution, led by Mrs. Joyce Debrah, on the other hand invited three witnesses to make its case.
Bishop Obinim who is the Head of the International Godsway Ministries had been standing trial for more than four years for allegedly assaulting the host of Hot FM’s “Nya Asem Hwe” programme on August 8, 2011.
The facts, according to the prosecution, were that Bishop Obinim rushed to the premises of the fm station, entered the studio and broke the glass at about 9:45 p.m. when the host and other panellists, were allegedly discussing matters concerning his privacy.
The damage was equated at GH¢130,850, which the Bishop had denied.
Bishop Obinim had arrived from Kumasi when his wife, Florence Obinim, informed him of a radio discussion on his person.
Not happy with the allegations against him, the Bishop, together with two other associate Bishops drove to Hot FM, where the alleged incident occurred.
By Malik Sullemana